Ottawa – Canada posted in May its largest trade surplus since 2008, riding a surge in oil prices as Western nations imposed energy sanctions on Russia, the government statistical agency said Thursday.
Total exports in the month rose 4.1 percent to Can$68.4 billion (US$52.6 billion), marking the 10th gain in 12 months, while total imports decreased 0.7 percent to Can$63.1 billion (US$48.6 billion).
As a result, Canada’s trade surplus widened from Can$2.2 billion (US$1.7 billion) in April to Can$5.3 billion (US$4.1 billion) in May, Statistics Canada said.
The increase in exports was led by oil, which has shot up in price amid supply constraints following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Sales of business jets to the United States also soared, as did shipments of potash — mainly to Brazil — to a record high, as buyers looked beyond Russia, which is the largest exporter of fertilizers, for new supplies.
Exports of copper ores and concentrates also increased, mainly to South Korea.
Meanwhile, imports of clothing and footwear, along with pharmaceutical and medicinal products, and commercial airliners from United States, all fell.
The decrease was partially offset by an uptick in imports of basic chemicals, largely driven by pharmaceutical ingredients from Ireland.
Canada’s trade surplus with the United States — its largest trading partner — also widened from Can$12.9 billion (US$9.9 billion) in April to Can$14.0 billion (US$10.8 billion) in May, setting another record high.

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