UPDATE 1-Energy prices drag down Canadian exports in March

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OTTAWA, May 12 (BestGrowthStock) – Canadian exports unexpectedly
slipped in March on falling energy prices, causing the trade
surplus to shrink sharply to C$254 million ($249 million) from
C$1.15 billion in February, according to Statistics Canada on
Wednesday.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected the surplus to
grow slightly to C$1.55 billion, forecasting modest gains in
both exports and imports. The trade surplus had been larger
than expected in the previous two months.

After six months of gains, exports were dragged down 0.7
percent in March by lower prices for crude oil and natural gas.
Canada is the top supplier of oil to the United States, so the
weaker exports resulted in a narrowing of its trade surplus
with the United States to C$3.8 billion in March from C$4.3
billion the previous month.

Machinery and equipment exports also fell, while industrial
goods and materials sales rose thanks to a surge in precious
metals prices. Exports of forestry products climbed, largely on
the strength of wood pulp sales.

Precious metals prices also explained much of the 2 percent
jump in imports in March to a higher-than-expected C$33.28
billion, Statscan said. Imports grew in industrial goods and
materials and energy products but fell in automotive products
and consumer goods.

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($1 = $1.02 Canadian)
(Reporting by Louise Egan, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

UPDATE 1-Energy prices drag down Canadian exports in March