BUSINESS

Canada's Weirdest Exports And Imports: Bovine Semen, Bed Sheets And Binoculars

09/30/2013 12:03 EDT
CP

What do bed sheets, binoculars and bovine semen have in common?

Besides having vastly different uses (we hope), they cost and score Canada millions of dollars in imports and exports.

The major chunk of our country's global trade is well known — Canada is a heavy exporter of energy, minerals and other natural resources to the world's major economies. The U.S. gets billions upon billions of dollars in Canadian-produced energy — just the latest reason they're Canada's best tag-team trade partner — and the U.K scores millions in natural uranium, unwrought gold and diamonds.

But there are other, more quirky products leaving our country and landing in other nations. A convenient database from Industry Canada reveals product- and industry-specific information on import and export transactions in 2012 between Canada and its trading countries.

Unfortunately, there are no numbers on the quantity of product moved, but each import and export's monetary value is available. Click here for the database. (Warning: you risk being sucked in and thrown into a frenzy of questions like, 'How are we sending horse, ass, or mule meat to Kazakhstan?')

Some of Canada's exports to specific countries, excluding crude oil and natural gas, are almost funny when compared to our imports. (Well, they're not actually funny; global trade has no emotions.)

For example, the tiny Gulf kingdom of Bahrain sends bed sheets and linens, while we give them ice cream and frozen potatoes. A lot of ice cream and potatoes.

Syria sends sweet biscuits, while we give them newsprint.

Changes in imports and exports throughout the years are also worth noting. Take our exports of dog and cat food to New Zealand, for example. In 2008, there was roughly $66,000-worth of the product moved. In 2012, it ballooned to more than $10.5 million. That same year, the United Arab Emirates shelled out $12.5 million on ice cream from Canada, while it only got $6.8 million of the creamy goodness in 2008.

Check out the gallery below for some other quirky Canadian imports and exports.

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Canada's Strangest Imports and Exports