- Energy exports saw the highest growth in December, rising by 1.5 per cent to C$47.3 billion.
- Annual trade deficit doubled to a staggering C$36.2 billion.
- Consumer goods imports fell 2.3 per cent during the period.
Canada’s trade deficit reduced by half to C$1.7 billion in December 2020, compared to the previous month as exports saw steady growth, the government said on Thursday.
Energy exports saw the highest growth during the period, rising by 1.5 per cent, while consumer goods imports fell 2.3 per cent. The December deficit figure was the lowest since June, according to Statistics Canada, the official statistical department.
However, the total trade deficit stood at a staggering C$36.2 billion in 2020, twice the deficit observed in the previous year. While merchandise exports fell 12.3 per cent, imports were down 8.6 per cent.
Furthermore, fluctuating exchange rates affected the trade values. For instance, the Canadian dollar increased by US$ 1.6 cents in December, compared with the value in the previous month. It was the highest rise in three years. Energy exports jumped by 1.5 per cent to C$47.3 billion in December, a significant increase, compared with the non-energy export gains of 0.1 per cent.
Exports of various energy products have considerably increased during the crisis, compared to the pre-pandemic period, rising by 10.2 per cent to C$7.5 billion in December.
Also, exports of different refined petroleum products increased during the period, mainly to the US. But the overall energy exports in 2020 dropped by 36.5 per cent year-over-year.
On the other hand, consumer imports declined for the second consecutive month in December, down 2.3 per cent to C$49.0 billion. It was the biggest drop since May.
However, markets are likely to come back strong this year as the government eases the Covid restrictions and the larger global economy starts to recover.