Although Canada had a trade surplus for the third month in a row in January the surplus is declining. In December the surplus was 2.86 billion dollars but this shrank to 2.1 billion in January of 2012.
Exports declined by 2.3 per cent on lower shipment of industrial goods and materials as well as some precious metals. However energy exports increased as more crude oil was shipped out mostly to the U.S.
Imports also fell slightly by .6 per cent. An exception was automotive products which rose considerably by 7 per cent.
The U.S. Canada's largest trading partner accounts for almost three-quarters of Canada's exports. In January exports to the U.S. rose slightly up .3 per cent while imports fell by the same amount. Canada's surplus with the U.S. increased to 6.07 billion. This is the highest level since October of 2000. For more see this Globe and Mail article.