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OTTAWA, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Canada posted a second consecutive monthly trade surplus in December for the first time in more than two years, thanks largely to booming crude oil exports, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday.
The C$923 million ($699 million) surplus exceeded analysts' forecasts of a C$350 million positive balance. Statscan revised November's surplus sharply higher to C$1.01 billion from an initial C$0.53 billion.
The last time Canada recorded back-to-back trade surpluses was in August and September 2014. Although exports rose by 0.8 percent in December, volumes actually fell by 1.4 percent.
Energy product exports jumped by 15.9 percent, the biggest month-on-month leap in six years, on strength in crude oil and bitumen. Exports of motor vehicles and parts fell by 5.2 percent while exports of metal ores and minerals slumped by 12.6 percent.
Imports increased by 1.0 percent on higher imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment as well as metal products. Volumes grew by 0.4 percent.
Exports to the United States, which accounted for 73.6 percent of all Canadian exports in December, grew by 0.2 percent while imports rose by 1.3 percent. As a result, Canada's trade surplus with the United States slipped to C$4.42 billion from C$4.74 billion in November. ($1=$1.32 Canadian)
Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe