Canada posts $2.5-billion trade surplus for March

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the country’s merchandise trade surplus was $2.5 billion in March as both imports and exports climbed to record highs.

The result compared with a revised surplus of $3.1 billion for February which is higher than an initial reading that showed a surplus of $2.7 billion for the month.

Statistics Canada says imports rose 7.7 per cent in March to a record high of $61.1 billion.

The increase came as imports of energy products gained 26.3 per cent for the month helped higher by imports of crude oil and bitumen as both prices and volumes rose. Imports of consumer goods rose 6.5 per cent, while motor vehicles and parts added 9.9 per cent.

Meanwhile, total exports rose 6.3 per cent to a record $63.6 billion in March as higher prices helped exports of energy products gain 12.8 per cent to a record $17.9 billion. Exports of motor vehicles and parts rose 7.9 per cent.

Excluding energy products, exports gained 4.0 per cent in March.