Canada is looking to other places besides the United States when it comes to shipping goods abroad. Coal exports to China and South Korea were among the reasons for the new record of goods sent to countries other than the U.S., according to Statistics Canada.
The new record is roughly $9.2 billion, and “exports to countries other than the United States rose 15.3%” in March, the agency said in a news release. Total exports rose 3.8% in March to a record of $34.2 billion. Imports from non-U.S. countries also increased slightly to $12.2 billion. Overall imports increased 1.7%.
The U.S. is still by far the No. 1 trade partner for Canada, yet total exports only increased a tenth of a percent from February to March. Meanwhile, U.S. imports increased 2% in March and by only 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. Other importers such as China, Mexico, the U.K. and Japan had double-digit increases from March 2016 to March 2017.
Forestry products and building and packaging materials exports jumped 5% in March, but that could change following the United States’ recent announcement of adding a tariff to softwood lumber imports into the U.S. Also on Thursday, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced a $20 million increase in March lumber imports.
Canada’s trade deficit hit roughly $100 million, while economists polled by Reuters expected a shortfall of about $580 million. Royal Bank of Canada was less favorable, with an expected deficit of nearly $730 million.
– Michael Miller, editorial associate