March 7, 2018 / 1:39 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Canada Jan trade deficit narrows, exports fall by most since July

(Adds details from report)

OTTAWA, March 7 (Reuters) - Canada’s trade deficit narrowed more than expected in January as imports pulled back from a record high, but exports tumbled by the most in six months as the country shipped fewer cars and forestry products, data from Statistics Canada showed on Wednesday.

The C$1.91 billion ($1.48 billion) gap was smaller than the C$2.50 billion shortfall forecast by economists. December was modestly revised to show a C$3.05 billion deficit from the originally reported C$3.19 billion gap.

Imports fell 4.3 percent as declines were broad-based, including an 11.3 percent drop in industrial machinery and equipment.

Exports were down 2.1 percent, the largest drop since July 2017, as exports of passenger cars and light trucks fell due to unusual plant closures.

Shipments of forestry products and building materials fell 6.6 percent as the United States resumed collecting import duties on Canadian lumber at the end of 2017, the statistics agency said.

Canada’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed to C$3.13 billion as Canada sent fewer vehicles and aircraft south of the border and imported less machinery and equipment for logging, mining and construction. ($1=$1.2937 Canadian)

Reporting by Leah Schnurr Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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