Canada posted a merchandise trade surplus of $1.9 billion in January, helped by exports of wheat, canola oil and soybeans, Statistics Canada said Wednesday.
The agency said the result compared with a revised surplus of $1.2 billion for December. The initial reading for the final month of 2022 released last month had showed a deficit of $160 million.
“The strength in January trade flows is consistent with the rebound in the broader activity measures,” BMO Capital Markets economist Shelly Kaushik wrote in a report.
“The question is whether momentum continued through Q1 or quickly faded.”
Exports in January totalled $67.0 billion, a gain of 4.2 per cent compared with December, as exports of farm, fishing and intermediate food products rose 11.9 per cent to reach a record $5.9 billion.
Exports of motor vehicles and parts climbed 8.2 per cent higher in January to $8.3 billion, the highest level since May 2019.
Meanwhile, total imports rose 3.1 per cent to $65.1 billion in January as imports of motor vehicles and parts gained 11.1 per cent to reach a record $11.0 billion.
In volume terms, exports gained 5.3 per cent in January, while imports rose 4.1 per cent.
In a separate report, Statistics Canada said the country’s international trade in services deficit hit $2.3 billion in January compared with a deficit of $1.3 billion in December.
The change came as imports of services rose 5.2 per cent to $16.3 billion, while exports of services fell 1.3 per cent to $14.0 billion.
Statistics Canada said when the international trade in goods and services were combined the country’s trade deficit with the world was $378 million in January compared with a deficit of $119 million in December.