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Canada’s export volumes hit all-time high in April By Reuters

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© Reuters. A shipping container is unloaded in the Port of Montreal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 17, 2021. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

By Ismail Shakil and Fergal Smith

OTTAWA (Reuters) -Canada’s exports jumped 2.5% in April, and hit an all-time high by volume, while imports declined 0.2% partly because of a fall in energy products, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday.

As a result, the country’s trade surplus with the world widened to C$1.94 billion ($1.45 billion) in April, more than double analysts’ forecasts of a C$900 million surplus. March’s surplus was downwardly revised to C$231 million, from C$972 million earlier.

The Canadian economy has largely been outperforming expectations despite record-paced interest rate hikes by the Bank of Canada between March 2022 and January this year.

That has led to a higher chance for another rate increase when the Bank of Canada announce its decision at 10 a.m. ET (1400 GMT) on Wednesday.

The surge in exports was driven by metal and non-metallic mineral products as well as energy products, Statscan said. By volume, exports were up 2.8% and surpassed pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels.

The rise in metal product exports included higher transfers of gold assets from Canadian financial institutions to the United States, in a sign economic uncertainty is making investors favor the safe-haven metal, the agency said.

Imports declined for a third consecutive month, in part due to lower crude shipments from Saudi Arabia and the United States. Imports of refined petroleum products also contributed to the decrease. By volume, total imports increased 1%.

Last week, data showed that Canada’s economy benefited from favorable international trade and expanded faster than expected in the first quarter ended March and likely accelerated further in April. Annual inflation also came in hotter than anticipated in April, accelerating for the first time in 10 months to 4.4%, more than double the BoC’s 2% target.

($1 = 1.3394 Canadian dollars)

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