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OTTAWA, June 3 (Reuters) - Canada's trade deficit in April narrowed to C$2.94 billion ($2.24 billion) from a record C$3.18 billion in March as exports grew at a slightly faster rate than imports, Statistics Canada said on Friday.
The shortfall - larger than the C$2.45 billion deficit forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll - reflects Canada's struggle to deal with weak crude prices that have slashed the value of exports and hamstrung growth.
Exports rose by 1.5 percent overall as oil prices recovered slightly and the United States imported more natural gas. Exports of industrial machinery, equipment and parts jumped by 10.5 percent to hit a 15-year high.
Imports increased by 0.9 percent on higher imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment.
Exports to the United States, which accounted for 74.8 percent of Canada's global total, rose by 2.3 percent while imports advanced by 3.0 percent.
As a result, Canada's trade surplus with the United States dropped to C$1.57 billion from C$1.74 billion in March - the lowest surplus since December 1993.
Reporting by David Ljunggren Editing by W Simon