* Canada exports drop 0.6 percent, imports up 0.6 percent
* Canada posts 19th consecutive trade deficit
* Trade surplus with United States drops to C$3.17 billion
OTTAWA, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Canada’s trade deficit in July more than doubled to C$931 million ($887 million) from June as imports rose by 0.6 percent and exports fell by the same amount, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday.
The deficit - the 19th in a row - was far greater than the C$350 million shortfall forecast by analysts. Statcan revised June’s deficit to C$460 million from an initial C$469 million.
The gloomy data reflect exporters’ continuing struggles to cope with a high Canadian dollar and uncertain foreign markets. Trade is one of the primary drivers of the domestic economy.
Imports grew on higher shipments of metal ores and basic and industrial, chemical, plastic and rubber products. Exports fell on lower shipments of aircraft as well as unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys.
Exports to the United States, which comprised 75.1 percent of all Canadian exports in July, grew by 0.8 percent, while imports advanced by 2.7 percent. As a result the trade surplus with the United States shrank to C$3.17 billion from C$3.62 billion in June.
The cumulative trade deficit for the first seven months of the year was C$5.67 billion, the second highest January-July shortfall on record after the C$7.63 billion posted in 2012.