(OTTAWA) Canada’s merchandise trade surplus with the world widened significantly last April from the previous month, rising from 231 million to 1.9 billion.

Statistics Canada explains that in April, the country’s merchandise exports increased by 2.5%, while imports fell slightly, by 0.2%.

Shipments of metal and non-metallic mineral products, which rose 13.6%, contributed the most to export growth in April.

Exports of unwrought gold jumped 46%, due to increased transfers of gold assets from Canadian financial institutions to the United States. Statistics Canada reports that these increases come amid economic uncertainty, as investors tend to favor safe-haven metals like gold and silver.

Exports of energy products also increased in April, by 6.4%, while exports of motor vehicles and vehicle parts increased by 7.4%.

Inflows of energy products fell by 12.8%; they contributed the most to the drop in Canadian imports in April. Crude oil imports tumbled 20.5%, partly due to lower deliveries from Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Canada’s trade surplus with its main trading partner, the United States, has widened; it fell from 7.2 billion in March to 9.5 billion in April.

In contrast, Canada’s merchandise trade deficit with countries other than the United States fell over the same period from $7 billion to $7.5 billion.