OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s trade deficit in September shrank to C$416 million ($318 million) as imports fell at a faster pace than exports, Statistics Canada said on Friday, adding that August imports had been almost C$1 billion higher than initially reported.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had expected a surplus of C$150 million in September after the initial C$526 million surplus recorded in August. Statscan, citing the late arrival of import data regarding three Swedish icebreakers, said Canada had in fact posted a trade deficit of C$551 million in August.
Statscan analysts said that while data is often reported late, it is unusual for such large amounts to be involved. The revision means Canada has now posted 21 consecutive monthly trade deficits.
September exports fell by 0.2 percent on lower shipments of consumer goods. This was largely due to lower exports of lentils and peas to India, which is focusing on boosting domestic production of the foodstuffs.
Imports dropped by 0.4 percent as the import of aircraft, ships and other transportation equipment plunged by 28.3 percent from August, when the icebreakers arrived.
Exports to the United States rose by 0.4 percent while imports climbed by 1.2 percent. As a result, the trade surplus with the United States - which took 75.1 percent of Canada’s goods exports in September - slipped to C$4.79 billion from C$5.03 billion.
Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Susan Thomas