Québec, May 21, 2014 – Québec’s seasonally adjusted international merchandise exports in constant dollars at 2007 prices rose 5.6% in March 2014 (up 1.3% in Canada). Their cumulative volume for the first quarter of 2014 was 4.9% above its level for the same period in the previous year (down 0.4% in Canada). This was revealed in the information released today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec on international merchandise trade.
In March 2014, the 25 major commodity groups accounted for 58.7% of Québec exports, up 0.5 percentage points from the previous month. Of those groups, 15 posted increases in March. Noteworthy gains were recorded for aircraft, unwrought aluminum and aluminum alloys, and commercial and service industry machinery. Iron ores and concentrates recorded a sharp decline, followed by unwrought copper and copper alloys, and aircraft engines.
Non-seasonally adjusted exports to the United States in current dollars went up 21.9% in March 2014. Their relative share among Québec exports was 72.5%, up 1.8 percentage points from the previous month. Aircraft posted significant gains, followed by unwrought aluminum and aluminum alloys and printed and integrated circuits, semiconductors, and circuit assemblies. Among the top 10 commodity groups, electricity was the only one on the decline.
Exports to Europe went up 36.6%. Their share in Québec exports was 11.5%, down 0.2 percentage points compared with the previous month. The main increases were in aircraft and unwrought aluminum and aluminum alloys. Moreover, only fresh and frozen pork declined among the 10 major commodity groups.
Exports to Asia were down 26.8% and accounted for 6.2% of Québec exports, down 3.9 percentage points from the prior month. Despite a drop in total exports to Asia, the 10 major commodity groups all posted increases. The most important gains were seen in aircraft, commercial and service industry machinery and turbines and turbine generator set units.
Imports down in March 2014
Québec’s seasonally adjusted international merchandise imports in constant dollars at 2007 prices contracted 2.4% in March 2014 (up 0.4% in Canada). Similarly, their cumulative volume in the first quarter of 2014 was 3.6% lower than in the same period in 2013 (in Canada, a 0.7% drop).
The 25 major commodity groups accounted for 59.0% of Québec imports in March 2014, down 1.8 percentage points from the previous month. Of these groups, 11 posted increases in March. Jet fuel, unwrought iron, steel and ferro-alloys as well as pharmaceutical and medicinal products posted the strongest increases. On the other hand, aircraft marked a significant decrease, followed by crude oil and passenger cars.
Non-seasonally adjusted imports from the United States in current dollars increased 9.8% and accounted for 41.9% of Québec imports in March, up 2.2 percentage points from the previous month. Crude oil recorded strong growth, followed by passenger cars, light-duty trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles. However, imports of motor gasoline and jet fuel from our southern neighbours posted sharp decreases.
Imports from Europe went up 5.4% and accounted for 23.6% of Québec imports, up 0.3 percentage points from the previous month. The main increases were recorded by motor gasoline, pharmaceutical and medicinal products and lubricants and other petroleum refinery products. Moreover, crude oil was the only group down among the top 10 commodity groups.
As for imports from Asia, they were up 0.3% and accounted for 18.0% of Québec imports, down 0.7 percentage points from the prior month. Jet fuel posted the largest increase, followed by computers and computer peripheral equipment as well as telephone apparatus. Finally, the sharpest drops were recorded in footwear, aircraft parts and other aerospace equipment and women’s clothing.
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