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Canada trade turns to deficit in March

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Canada in March posted the largest trade deficit in almost one year — since June 2023 — as both exports and imports declined, the government statistical agency said Thursday.

The Can$2.3 billion (US$1.7 billion) deficit follows a downward revised surplus of Can$476 million the previous month, Statistics Canada said in a news release.

Exports declined 5.3 percent, erasing almost all of the gains made in February, while imports were down 1.2 percent, the agency said.

Exports of unwrought gold plunged following a large number of shipments in February, while crude oil exports decreased for the fifth time in the past six months.

The latter coincided with unplanned shutdowns at refineries in the US Midwest — an important destination for Canadian crude oil. Marine shipments of crude oil to Britain were also lower in March compared with the previous month.

Exports of passenger cars and light trucks decreased as several manufacturing plants began retooling assembly lines to produce new vehicle models.

Canada also shipped less wheat and pulse crops abroad.

The drop in imports, meanwhile, was led by fewer inbound shipments of computers and peripherals, and lower cellphone imports from China.

Imports of alumina — used to produce aluminum — from Australia and Brazil also fell, along with imports of copper ores and concentrates.

This decline was partly offset by increased imports of unwrought gold, silver, and platinum group metals, and their alloys.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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