OTTAWA, May 2 (UPI) -- Canada's trade balance rose from a $1.2 billion deficit in February to a $24 million surplus in March, Statistics Canada reported Thursday from Ottawa.
The agency said the country's exports rose 5.1 percent, climbing far faster than imports, which rose 1.7 percent month-to-month.
Exports in the month grew to $40.5 billion. They have been on an upward trend since July 2012, the data agency said.
Exports to the United States rose 4 percent to $29.5 billion in the month with a boost from higher exports of motor vehicles and energy products.
But exports rose faster with trades elsewhere. "Export to countries other than the United States rose 7.9 percent to $11 billion in March," StatsCan said.
Overall, exports of motor vehicles and parts rose 6.1 percent to $5.8 billion, 4.8 percent of which was attributed to volume of exports and 1.2 percent of which was attributed to price increases.
Exports of metal ores and non-metallic minerals rose 13.2 percent to $1.7 billion.
Copper was credited with pushing the rise in mining exports. Copper ore exports rose 94.9 percent in March.
Import gains were also widespread, the agency said. Energy imports rose 7.5 percent to $3.8 billion with a 4.9 percent increase in volume and a 2.5 percent increase in prices.
Imports of raw material precious metals and mineral products rose 5.8 percent to $3.5 billion. Imports of big-ticket transportation items, including aircraft, rose 15.8 percent to $1.2 billion. Imports of vehicles and car parts also rose, up 2.4 percent to $7 billion, the highest level by value since July 2012, the data agency said.