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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's trade surplus shrank unexpectedly in February on lower exports of energy and automotive products while imports grew slightly, Statistics Canada data indicated on Thursday.
The surplus was just C$292 million, significantly lower than the C$1.90 billion forecast by market operators. Statscan revised the January surplus to C$1.95 billion from an initial C$2.10 billion.
Exports sank by 3.9 percent as shipment of energy products dropped by 6.9 percent while automotive products fell 11.9 percent after five consecutive monthly increases. Overall volumes sank by 3.5 percent.
Exports to the United States, which made up 73.9 percent of all Canadian exports in February, dropped by 3.8 percent. The trade surplus with the United States fell to $4.81 billion from C$6.06 billion in January.
Imports grew by 0.2 percent on an 18.3 percent surge in the import of energy products, in particular pipeline diluents and aviation fuel. Overall volumes fell by 0.9 percent.
Reporting by David Ljunggren. Editing by Bernadette Baum