Canada's exports to China surged by 43 percent in the first part of 2007, pushing China into a tie with Japan as the country's third-largest export market, national agency Statistics Canada said Thursday.
Canada's exports to China nearly doubled to 8 billion Canadian dollars (US$8.8 billion) in 2006 from 4 billion Canadian dollars (US$4.4 billion) in 2002. In the first seven months of 2007, they soared 43 percent over the same period one year ago, the largest gain by any of the G-7 countries, the report said.
Although Canada still imports far more from China than it exports, 21.7 billion Canadian dollars (US$23.9 billion) as of July, 2007 compared to 5.5 billion Canadian dollars (US$6.1 billion), export growth has outpaced imports by a wide margin this year, said the report.
China is expanding its manufacturing base and undertaking massive infrastructure projects in recent years, which helped push up the country's demand for Canada's metals, potash, canola and industrial goods in recent years, said the report.
The report noticed that Canadian trade has diversified in recent years, with now 24 percent of Canadian exports headed for non-US countries, up from 16 percent five years ago.
Canada's sources of imports also have shifted, with a record-high of 35 percent coming from countries other than the United States in 2007, up from 25 percent in 2002. More than half of that increase is attributable to China.
Meanwhile, China is now Canada's second largest consumer of crude oil. Canadian crude oil shipments to China topped 150 million Canadian dollars (US$165 million) in the first seven months of 2007.
Canada's second-largest export market is the European Union.