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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Lower exports and slightly higher imports pushed Canada's trade deficit in February up to C$1.02 billion ($1.01 billion) from a revised shortfall of C$746 million in January, Statistics Canada said on Friday.
Market operators had expected a modest surplus of C$200 million after the initial C$237 million deficit reported in January.
Exports shrank by 0.6 percent in February on lower shipments of metals and non-metallic mineral products. Exporters have been suffering from a strong Canadian dollar and weak markets since the 2008 financial crisis.
Imports edged up by 0.1 percent on higher imports of motor vehicles and parts as well as basic and industrial chemical products.
Exports to the United States - which took 73.8 percent of all Canadian exports in February - dropped by 1.1 percent, while imports grew by 0.8 percent. As a result, Canada's trade surplus with the United States fell to C$3.40 billion in February from C$3.90 billion in January.
Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by John Wallace