April 5, 2016 11:15 am eastern time

Statistics Canada reported today that Canada’s exports were down in February versus January and that the trade deficit has widened.

Some of the notable figures are:

Energy product exports were down 14% in February versus January. This included price declines of 10% and would appear to reflect the low oil prices of January. On that basis, this should improve in March since oil prices have rebounded somewhat. Volume was down 4% perhaps indicating hat the Canadian energy industry is finally starting to reduce volumes in reaction to lower prices. Until now, the figures I had seen indicated higher energy production volumes in Canada as companies presumably needed the cash and had to accept the lower prices. Energy products comprised only 11% of Canada’s exports in February.

Consumer goods exports were down 14% in February versus January. The volume decline was 12%. I suspect that this is related more to random fluctuations or data issues as opposed to a true trend. Consumer products constituted 14% of exports in February.

Imports of energy products were down 29% versus January as eastern refineries sourced more crude domestically. I am not sure how the oil is being shipped but it may have to do with recent pipeline flow reversals in Ontario.