Canada’s trade surplus widened sharply to Can$1.9 billion (US$1.4 billion) in April, as exports rebounded to an all-time high in terms of volumes, the national statistical agency said Wednesday.
Analysts were expecting a much more modest surplus following a Can$231 million surplus in March.
According to Statistics Canada, exports increased 2.5 percent in April after two consecutive monthly declines. Canadian financial institutions’ gold shipments to the United States led the uptick.
“These increases came amid a context of economic uncertainty, when investors tend to favour safe-haven metals such as gold and silver,” the agency explained.
Crude oil exports also bounced back after six months of declines, driven by higher prices. Exports of coal, as well as cars and trucks, and auto parts also rose.
Imports, meanwhile, edged down 0.2 percent, falling for a third consecutive month.
Oil imports posted the largest decline, with fewer shipments from Saudi Arabia. Canadians also imported less gasoline from the United States.
These declines were partially offset by higher imports of pharmaceutical products.