Canada’s trade surplus doubles in September on energy price surge

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada’s trade surplus with the world increased more than expected to C$2.04 billion ($1.48 billion) in September, as higher crude prices helped exports outpace a rise in imports, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a C$1.00 billion surplus. August’s surplus was upwardly revised to C$949 million from C$718 million initially.

Exports rose 2.7% in September and were up 0.4% on a volume basis, as prices increased for the third consecutive month.

Energy products led the gains, mainly due to higher crude oil prices that coincided with the extension of voluntary production cuts by OPEC+. Wheat exports also contribute with a more-than 50% rise, as favorable weather conditions allowed for a more rapid harvest in 2023.

Partly offsetting the gains, exports of metal and non- metallic mineral products fell 10.7% in September from an all-time high in August.

Total imports increased 1.0%, driven by passenger cars and light trucks. Overall, motor vehicles and parts recorded its sixth consecutive monthly rise, despite strike disruptions in the United States – Canada’s biggest trade partner.

By volume, total imports were up 1.7%, indicating a decline in prices.

The Canadian economy has stalled and it likely slipped into shallow recession in the third quarter as the Bank of Canada’s 10 interest rate hikes since last year take effect. The bank expects economic growth to remain muted until the end of 2024, before growth picks up again 2025.

(Reporting by Ismail Shakil and Dale Smith in Ottawa, editing by Ed Osmond)