Publicado: Lun, Agosto 06, 2018
Financiera | Por Marilu Caballero

U.S. June trade deficit posts biggest rise in 1-1/2 years

U.S. June trade deficit posts biggest rise in 1-1/2 years

Canada's merchandise trade deficit was lower than forecast after the USA imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum, as oil producers and aircraft makers led exports to a record high.

The report said the trade deficit widened to $46.3 billion in June from a revised $43.2 billion in May.

Those boosts to the trade balance more than overcame declines in exports of steel and aluminum to the US of 37 per cent 7 per cent respectively. Last month, the Trump administration began following through with a March threat of tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of imported Chinese goods, prompting China to respond with retaliatory levies on high-value US exports such as soybeans.

Many economists believe the looming trade dispute with China may also have contributed to an out-of-season surge in USA soybean exports in the second quarter that could reverse going forward.

"Consistent with supply dynamics, the impact looks to be larger on steel than aluminum, but in the broader scheme of things, the impact thus far appears to be minimal", he said.

In a flurry of activity this year, he has slapped taxes on imported steel and aluminum and on $34 billion in Chinese products.

Meanwhile, imports from the United States were up 0.3 per cent to $32.9 billion, resulting in Canada's trade merchandise trade surplus with the USA rising to $4.1 billion. "As a result, trade is likely to subtract from GDP growth in the coming quarters, reversing the significant positive contribution recorded in Q2".

The unexpectedly strong overall performance boosted market expectations that the Bank of Canada could hike interest rates next month.

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Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the rest of the world shrank dramatically in June to $626 million, the smallest in 17 months.

Canada's total exports increased 4.1 per cent to $50.7 billion in June, the first time they have topped the $50-billion mark.

"Canadian trade was a large and pleasant surprise in June, and a surge in exports for the month capped a solid quarter", Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce chief economist Avery Shenfeld wrote in a research note.

Rising oil prices also boosted the value of American crude exports, which were the highest on record at $20.4 billion. Exports of passenger cars and light trucks were up 5 per cent in the month.

When adjusted for inflation, the trade gap increased to $79.3 billion in June from $75.5 billion in May.

The Aussie fell to an 11-day low of $0.7354 before recovering to trade up 0.3 percent at $0.7389. Petroleum imports in June were the highest since December 2014. There were decreases in imports of computers and telecommunications equipment.

Economists also noted that the return of several Canadian refineries in June from shutdowns in April and May was a significant factor in both the export and import figures, as Canada had more energy products available for export and had less demand for energy imports to make up for the lost domestic production.

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