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Oil Exports Boost Canada’s Second Straight Monthly Trade Surplus

Exports of crude oil and crude bitumen at higher prices helped Canada record a second consecutive monthly trade surplus in December, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday.

The back-to-back surpluses in November and December last year was the first such trade balance for Canada’s international trade since August and September of 2014, Reuters has calculated.

Canada’s total trade balance with the world came in at the equivalent of US$700 million (C$923 million) in December from a revised US$758 million (C$1 billion) for November, with higher energy product prices driving the value of exports, Statistic Canada said.

Exports of energy products jumped by 15.9 percent on the month to the highest value since November 2014. Sales of crude oil and crude bitumen -thanks to higher prices - were the key contributor to the energy exports rise. Canada’s exports of crude oil and crude bitumen climbed 17.2 percent to US$4.3 billion (C$5.7 billion). The value of Canada’s natural gas exports soared 36 percent, with below-average temperatures in the northeastern U.S. pushing natural gas prices up, Statistics Canada said.

On the other hand, Canada’s imports of energy products dropped by 11.9 percent in December. Imports of crude oil and crude bitumen were mostly responsible for the lower energy product imports values, dropping by 18 percent to the lowest levels since February 2016. The decline in December was chiefly due to lower imports from the U.S.

Related: Keystone XL Needs Much Higher Oil Prices To Be Viable

Canada’s oil industry is on the road to recovery after two and a half years of persistently low oil prices.

The Petroleum Services Association of Canada raised last week its forecast for oil and gas well drilling by 23 percent amid the recovery of the global oil prices. PSAC now expects 5,150 wells to be drilled across Canada in 2017, lifting a previous forecast from November 2016 for 4,175 wells.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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