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Canada string of trade surpluses comes to abrupt end

Canada posted a trade deficit of Can$137 million (US$108 million) in December, bringing an abrupt end to six months of back-to-back surpluses, the government statistical agency said Tuesday.

Imports led by electronics and smartphones rose 3.7 percent to a record Can$57.7 billion in December, while exports edged down 0.9 percent from a high the previous month to Can$57.6 billion, said Statistics Canada.

Canada also imported more motor vehicle parts, it said, along with fertilizers, pesticides and other chemical products.

Crude oil exports, meanwhile, fell on a sharp decline in prices. Coal exports were down, too, in part due to freight shipping disruptions caused by flooding in western Canada.

That drop was partly offset by stronger exports of pharmaceutical products.

The trade surplus with the United States, Canada’s largest trading partner, narrowed from Can$9.5 billion in November to Can$8.1 billion in December.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French state-owned international news agency based in Paris. It is the world's oldest news agency, having been founded in 1835 as Havas.

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