The gap between what Canada sells to the world and what it buys stretched to $3.6 billion in June, as exports fell back from recent highs while imports increased.

Following three consecutive monthly record highs, total exports fell 4.3 per cent to $46.5 billion in June, Statistics Canada reported Friday. Imports, meanwhile, edged up 0.3 per cent to $50.1 billion.

Much of what Canada exports goes to the United States, and the country has a trade surplus with its southern neighbour. Canada’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed to $2.2 billion in June from $3.5 billion in May, the smallest surplus since June 2016.

“Looking ahead, the recent appreciation in the Canadian dollar has weakened Canada’s competitive position slightly,” TD Bank economist Leslie Preston said. “But, healthy U.S. demand should continue to be supportive of exports.”

The trade deficit with the rest of the world, however, widened from $4.9 billion in May to $5.8 billion in June.



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