Canada’s worldwide imports and exports declined by 10pc in March from a year earlier.
A Statistics Canada report laid bare the hit Canada took as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Export volumes in March dropped by 4.8pc, while imports declined by 5.8pc compared to February. The country’s trade deficit in March rose by $1.4bn ($996mn) from $894mn one month earlier.
Total Canadian exports declined by 3pc in Q1 2020 from the precious quarter, while imports declined by 2pc. The pandemic effectively shut down the auto-manufacturing sector and, in the process, hampered trade.
Canadian passenger car and light truck exports decreased by 9.8pc in March, while engines and parts exports plunged by 28.9pc. Passenger car and light truck imports declined by 6.2pc, and engines and parts imports decreased by 23pc.
Ongoing social distancing policies will invariably put downward pressure on imports and exports, at least until production resumes, the report read.
Trade with the US also declined significantly because of halted auto production. Total exports to the US fell by 4.9pc and imports dropped by 5.1pc in March. Canada’s trade surplus with the US tightened to $3.9bn in March from $4bn a month earlier.
Canadian exports to countries other than the US decreased by 4.1pc, and imports declined marginally by 0.5pc in March. The trade deficit with other countries grew to $5.3bn during the month from $4.9bn in February.
(C$1 = US$0.71)