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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's trade deficit unexpectedly jumped to C$2.76 billion ($2.08 billion) in October as exports to the crucial U.S. market dropped by the most in almost two-and-a-half years, Statistics Canada data showed on Friday.
October marked the 14th consecutive monthly trade deficit, reflecting Canadian exporters' continuing struggles amid a sharp fall in oil prices. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a shortfall of C$1.70 billion.
Overall exports dropped by 1.8 percent to C$42.98 billion as volumes fell by 1.5 percent and prices slipped by 0.4 percent. Statscan reported declines in 10 of the 11 main sections, with farm, fishing and intermediate food products posting a 7.3 percent decline as canola exports slumped by 33.6 percent.
Imports fell by 0.8 percent, pulled down by a 3.3 percent drop in consumer goods. Overall import volumes slipped by 0.2 percent while prices declined by 0.6 percent.
Exports to the United States, which accounted for 74.9 percent of Canada's global total in October, fell by 2.8 percent, the biggest month-on-month fall since the 3.4 percent slump recorded in May 2013. Imports shrank by 0.3 percent.
As a result, Canada's trade surplus with the United States dropped to C$1.58 billion from C$2.41 billion in September. This was the smallest surplus since the C$1.57 billion recorded in September 2010.
Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama