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Foreign trade figures of Canada

Foreign Trade in Figures

Canada is a country open to foreign trade, which represents 67% of its GDP (World Bank, latest data available). Product-wise, Canada’s main exports are energy products (27.2%), consumer goods (11.4%), metal and non-metallic mineral products (11%), motor vehicles and parts (10.4%), forestry products and building and packaging materials (7.5%). The country imports mainly consumer goods (20.6%), motor vehicles and parts (15.2%), electronic and electrical equipment and parts (11.2%), industrial machinery, equipment and parts (11.2%), basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products (8.9% - data Statistics Canada 2022).

The main destinations for Canada’s exports in 2022 were the U.S. (by far the leading partner, accounting for 76.9% of total exports), China (3.7%), the United Kingdom (2.4%), and Japan (2.3%). Similarly, almost half of Canada’s imports had a U.S. origin (49.2%), followed by China (13.5%), Mexico (5.5%), Germany (3%) and Japan (2.3%). In 2022, shipments to the United States reached a record-breaking CAD 595 billion, marking a substantial 24.8% increase. This surge was primarily driven by the upswing in energy exports, which experienced a notable boost in 2022 owing to robust prices. Given the geographical closeness and the comprehensive interconnection of transportation systems (pipelines and railways) handling these products between Canada and the United States, close to 90% of Canadian energy exports were directed towards the U.S. (Statistics Canada). Imports from the United States were up 20% to CAD 471 billion in 2022.

During 2022, the worth of Canada's yearly merchandise exports grew by 22.5%, reaching CAD 779.2 billion, and annual imports saw a 19.9% increase, totalling CAD 757.4 billion. Consequently, Canada's merchandise trade surplus with the world expanded from CAD 4.6 billion in 2021 to 21.8 billion in 2022. More than half of the export increase was driven by the surge in exports of energy products. Trade with the U.S. and Mexico improved consistently, also due to the USMCA (Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, an updated version of NAFTA). In 2022, both the export and import of services in Canada witnessed growth, propelled by the recovery in international travel. Service exports amounted to CAD 173 billion, reflecting a 16.1% increase from 2021, whereas services imported into Canada reached CAD 189 billion, marking a 25% rise. After being in deficit since 2009, the World Bank estimated the country’s trade surplus at 0.1% of GDP in 2022. Lastly, it has to be noted that in recent years Canada benefited from the effects of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union, which entered into force provisionally (it will take full effect once all EU Member States have formally ratified it) eliminating 98% of the tariffs.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20192020202120222023
Imports of Goods (million USD) 462,993420,934506,053583,549570,419
Exports of Goods (million USD) 448,817390,821507,992599,032569,257
Imports of Services (million USD) 126,638104,752120,604145,199155,598
Exports of Services (million USD) 115,24298,529118,794132,768148,580

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20182019202020212022
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 66.666.261.661.967.3
Trade Balance (million USD) -16,838-14,168-29,9803,71117,183
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -33,733-25,538-36,830-8783,492
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 3.30.4-9.37.87.2
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 3.82.7-8.91.42.6
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 34.333.831.931.033.5
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 32.332.429.730.933.7

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20232024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)2027 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 5.73.22.83.43.5
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 1.01.63.74.04.3

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Canada is a member of the following international economic organisations: North American Competitiveness Council (NACC), OECD, Organization of American States (OAS), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Commonwealth, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Canada click here. International organisation membership of Canada is also outlined here.
Free Trade Agreements
The complete and up-to-date list of Free Trade Agreements signed by Canada can be consulted here.
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2023
United States 77.6%
China 4.0%
Japan 2.1%
United Kingdom 1.9%
Mexico 1.1%
See More Countries 13.4%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2023
United States 49.6%
China 11.8%
Mexico 6.1%
Germany 3.3%
Japan 2.7%
See More Countries 26.4%

Source: Comtrade, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

596.8 bn USD of products exported in 2022
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 20.2%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 4.9%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 4.1%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 2.8%
Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought...Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought or not further worked than semi-manufactured or in powder form 2.6%
See More Products 65.4%
571.6 bn USD of products imported in 2022
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 5.8%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 3.5%
Motor vehicles for the transport of goods, incl....Motor vehicles for the transport of goods, incl. chassis with engine and cab 3.5%
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles...Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s. 3.0%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 2.9%
See More Products 81.3%

Source: Comtrade, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

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Latest Update: June 2024