Canada’s Trade Surplus Falls On Declining Energy Prices

Canada’s trade surplus fell to a new low for the year in August as both exports and imports
declined, and energy prices slumped.

The August trade surplus dropped to $1.52 billion from a downwardly revised $2.37 billion in
July, according to Statistics Canada. It marked the smallest trade surplus this year for Canada.

Economists had forecast a trade surplus of $3.5 billion in August.

As recently as June this year, Canada’s trade surplus had been at a record high due to surging
oil prices. However, exports have now dropped sharply for two consecutive months as energy
prices declined over the summer months.

Total exports fell 2.9% in August after a 3.7% decline in July. It represents the biggest two-
month drop in the value of Canada’s exports since the early months of the pandemic.

Canada had benefited from a sharp rise in oil prices earlier this year, which helped the country
post recurring trade surpluses for the first time since 2014.

Global oil prices have fallen as low as $80 U.S. a barrel in recent weeks after peaking above
$120 U.S. per barrel in June.

However, August’s decline in exports went beyond energy products. In all, seven of 11 export
categories posted declines for the month.

Excluding energy products, Canada’s total exports were down 1.7% in August.

Imports also recorded a second consecutive monthly decline, reflecting weak activity in the
North American automotive sector.

The value of goods Canada purchased from overseas fell 1.7% in August following a 0.7%
decline in July.