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There wasn’t much to cheer about in January’s trade report. Not only did the merchandise deficit widened, but it did so thanks to a sizable drop in exports, Jocelyn Paquet from National Bank of Canada Financial Markets informs.

Key quotes

“Canada’s merchandise trade deficit widened more than expected in January, coming in at C$1.47 billion from a revised C$0.73 billion.”  

“Nominal exports shrank 2.0%, while nominal imports retraced 0.5%.” 

“Rail blockades are likely to crimp goods exchanges in February. Add to that the disruptions associated with the coronavirus and you get a fairly bleak picture for trade. The recent drop in commodity prices will do nothing to help Canadian exporters.”