OTTAWA -- Statistics Canada says the country's merchandise trade deficit shrank to $169 million in October, a big improvement over the September figure when the deficit was $1 billion.

Exports rose one per cent to $38.1 billion with farm, fishing and intermediate food products leading the gains.

Declines in exports were led by metal ores and non-metallic minerals.

Meanwhile, Statistics Canada says imports fell 1.2 per cent to $38.3 billion and were down 5.7 per cent from the record high of $40.6 billion reached in June.

Imports from the United States rose 1.6 per cent to $24.6 billion and exports edged down 0.2 per cent to $27.4 billion, cutting the trade surplus with the United States to $2.8 billion from $3.2 billion in September.

Imports from countries other than the United States fell 5.8 per cent to $13.7 billion and exports rose 4.2 per cent to $10.7 billion, reducing the trade deficit with those countries to $2.9 billion from $4.2 billion in September.