OTTAWA- Canada's exports rose 2.8% in February to a record high, driven mostly by energy products, while imports climbed 3.9% from the previous month, led by metals, data from Statistics Canada showed on Tuesday.
The country's trade surplus with the world narrowed to C$2.66 billion ($2.14 billion), slightly below analyst forecasts of C$2.9 billion. But exports came in above expectations at C$58.75 billion, with imports also beating at C$56.08 billion.
Energy exports rose 7.8% to a record high, making up more than two-thirds of the total increase, while exports of non-energy products were up 1.2%. In volume terms, exports were up 0.6%.
"Prices continued to play an important role in the monthly growth of exports," Statscan said. "Exports of crude oil contributed the most to the growth in February 2022, largely due to higher prices."
Oil prices have surged since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. Canada is the world's fourth-largest producer of oil.
The crisis also has pushed up imports, with Canada's imports of fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals hitting a record high.
Statscan pointed to lower production in China and quotas on fertilizer exports from Russia as contributing factors.
"These events create uncertainty about the availability and the cost of these products, resulting in atypical movements for Canadian fertilizer imports," it said.
The Canadian dollar was trading 0.4% higher at 1.2442 to the greenback, or 80.37 U.S. cents, on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa Editing by Paul Simao)