Happy holidays: Canadian electronics imports and exports

watch, laptop with red bow, iphone with silver bow

Electronic products have become very popular as holiday gifts over the years and although Canadians import most of the electronics they consume, Canada exports more electronics than you might expect. This chart will focus on home entertainment electronics, which includes smartphones, portable devices and computers, televisions as well as video games and consoles.


Over the last five years, Canadian imports of home entertainment electronics have increased by 34% to reach nearly $15.8 billion in 2018:

iphone, computer screen, tv, controller

Electronic imports follow the same trend annually. From a low in February, imports will begin to slowly increase from March to August, will accelerate in September and peak in November of each year due to holiday demand. Imports will then fall in December through February.

Country      2014      2018
South Korea3.5%5.3%
United States1.9%2.3%

China is consistently Canada’s top electronics provider and its share of total imports even increased, from 78.4% in 2014 to 80.2% in 2018. Mexico’s share of 12.2% in 2014 has decreased to the benefit of South Korea (smartphones), Vietnam (smartphones) and the U.S. (portable devices and computers), which all saw an increase in their respective shares in 2018.


Although modest, Canadian exports of home entertainment electronics have remained stable between 2014 and 2018 and amounted to $1.1B for both years. Interestingly, during that period Canadian exports of portable devices and computers increased, while similar exports decreased worldwide. In 2014, global exports were US$165.8 billion and Canada ranked as the 24th largest exporter of portable devices and computers, and while global exports were down 11.9% to US$146.1 billion in 2018, Canada rose to the 16th largest exporter worldwide. Notable increases were to Malaysia, which went from 38th to become Canada’s 4th largest export market. Pakistan, Israel and Singapore also entered Canada’s top 10 largest export markets for portable devices and computers.

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