Canada trade deficit narrows to C$2.9 billion in February

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s trade deficit declined for a second straight month in February, falling slightly to C$2.9 billion ($2.18 billion), after reaching a record high of C$4.8 billion in December 2018, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a shortfall of C$3.5 billion. Statscan revised January’s deficit to C$3.1 billion from an initial C$4.2 billion, as a result of a C$1.2 billion upward revision in crude oil exports.

Exports declined 1.3 percent to C$48 billion in February from January on lower shipments of non-energy products. Energy product exports rose 11.7 percent to C$9.3 billion, with oil shipments up 8.5 percent at C$6.1 billion.

Excluding energy, exports fell 4 percent, with exports of metal ores and non-metallic minerals dropping 11 percent, while exports of metal and non-metallic mineral products declined 6.6 percent.

Exports of motor vehicles and parts were down 2.8 percent in February, mainly on lower exports of passenger cars and light trucks coinciding with a slowdown in auto production that month.

Following two months of consecutive gains, imports declined 1.6 percent to C$50.9 billion, led by lower imports of gold.

Reporting by Julie Gordon and Dale Smith in Ottawa; Editing by Steve Orlofsky