March 6, 2015 / 1:42 PM / in 5 years

Canada trade deficit more than doubles on oil price slump

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s trade deficit in January more than doubled to a near-record C$2.45 billion ($1.96 billion), Statistics Canada said on Friday, amid a slump in oil prices that has crimped the resource-dependent economy.

The deficit - considerably wider than the C$1 billion shortfall expected by analysts - was the second highest after the C$2.87 billion recorded in July 2012.

Statscan revised December’s deficit to C$1.22 billion from an initial C$649 million.

Exports fell by 2.8 percent as the value of energy shipments dropped 14.7 percent, the eighth consecutive monthly decrease. Export prices shrank by 1.5 percent and volumes dropped by 1.3 percent. Overall imports were flat.

Crude prices have roughly halved since last June, cutting revenues of major oil-producing nations such as Canada. Energy products accounted for 16.5 percent of all Canadian exports in January, sharply down from 26.6 percent in January 2014.

Overall exports to the United States, which took 74.5 percent of all Canadian exports in January, fell 3.1 percent while imports edged down by 0.1 percent.

As a result, the trade surplus with the United States almost halved to C$1.21 billion from C$2.20 billion in December. It was the lowest monthly surplus with the United States since the C$1.03 billion recorded in September 1992.

($1=$1.25 Canadian)

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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