Canada posted Thursday a Can$290 million (US$263 million) trade surplus for the month of February as auto sales ticked up following extended holiday shutdowns at US and Canadian manufacturing plants. Exports grew 3.6 percent, outpacing a 2.1 percent rise in imports in the month, Statistics Canada said. The surplus follows a January deficit, which was revised downward by the government statistical agency to Can$337 million (US$306 million). February exports increased to Can$42.3 billion (Can$38.4 billion), led by motor vehicle engines and parts, passenger cars and light trucks, and crude oil and crude bitumen. The rise was partially offset by a decline in exports of natural gas. Wheat and canola exports also declined in the month. Imports, meanwhile, grew to Can$42.1 billion (US$38.3 billion), as Canadians purchased more crude oil and crude bitumen, and coal from abroad. More passenger cars and light trucks, and conveyors were also imported into Canada. Imports of unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys fell, however.