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Canada's international trade deficit widens in May, surplus with US shrinks

Canada's trade deficit widened to C$2.77 billion in May from a revised C$1.86 billion shortfall in April, as aircraft and energy products led the growth in imports while exports edged down, Statistics Canada reported.

Total imports rose 1.7% to C$51.12 billion from C$50.26 billion the previous month, with eight of 11 product sections increasing. Total exports slipped 0.1% to C$48.34 billion from C$48.40 billion.

Imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts jumped 17.7% to C$2.38 billion. Statistics Canada said aircraft imports alone more than tripled to C$937 million due to the import of several airliners from the U.S.

"The value of aircraft imports from January to May was a record high for this period," Statistics Canada said.

Imports of energy products grew 4.4% to C$3.37 billion from C$3.22 billion. Canada imported C$1.6 billion in refined petroleum energy products in May, up 13.9% from April, to meet domestic demand as a number of Canadian refineries were temporarily shut down during the month.

Exports of motor vehicles and parts fell 3.6% to C$7.28 billion, and exports of metal ores and non-metallic minerals declined 14.6% to C$1.34 billion from C$1.57 billion.

Year over year, total exports were essentially unchanged, while total imports were up 3.5%.

US trade surplus

In May, Canada's trade surplus with the U.S. narrowed to C$3.29 billion from a revised C$3.69 billion in April. Imports to the U.S. rose 1.0% to C$32.59 billion from C$32.27 billion, while exports fell to C$35.89 billion from C$35.96 billion.

Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the U.S. widened to C$6.1 billion from C$5.6 billion, as imports increased 2.9% to C$18.5 billion, while exports edged up 0.2% to C$12.5 billion.

On June 1, the U.S. applied additional tariffs on selected steel and aluminum products exported by Canada, which imposed retaliatory tariffs on certain American imported products on July 1.