August 4, 2017 / 12:52 PM / 2 years ago

Canada trade deficit widens in June as exports pull back from record

FILE PHOTO: Cargo ship lie at anchor in English Bay outside the Port of Vancouver, in British Columbia, Canada on November 18, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s trade deficit widened far more than expected in June as a drop in shipments of metal and energy products pulled exports back from the previous month’s record high, data from Statistics Canada showed on Friday.

Canada’s trade gap with the world was C$3.60 billion ($2.86 billion), exceeding economists’ forecasts of a C$1.35 billion deficit. The national statistics agency revised May figures to show a wider shortfall of C$1.36 billion than the initially reported gap of C$1.09 billion.

Exports tumbled 4.3 percent to C$46.51 billion, the largest decrease since February 2016 as both prices and volumes declined. Imports edged up 0.3 percent to C$50.12 billion, setting a record high.

Exports fell in nine out of 11 categories, led by a decrease in metal and other mineral products, as well as energy.

Exports of crude oil and bitumen tumbled 7.4 percent, the fourth consecutive monthly decline. The statistics agency said this was unusual for June, when crude oil exports normally increase.

The decrease in oil shipments led to a 4.5 percent decline in exports to the United States. The trade surplus with the United States, which accounted for 74 percent of Canadian exports in June, shrank to C$2.17 billion, the smallest since June 2016.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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