Automotive rebound spurs import growth

by Canadian Shipper

Strong automotive activity reversed most of the import declines in September.

Manufacturers overcame production delays and shutdowns that curtailed output during the summer slowdown, as well as the power outage. Imports in the automotive sector surged by $617 million, or 11.4%, Statistics Canada reports. Passenger autos accounted for the bulk of the increase, rising by $330 million, or 22.8%, from the previous month.

Imports of trucks and other motor vehicles climbed 20.9% to $1.1 billion and motor vehicle parts advanced 3.1%, reaching $3.1 billion.

Low inventories and the anticipation of increased winter demand boosted crude petroleum imports 12.9% to $1.2 billion. Prices remained virtually unchanged in September (+0.1%), but have grown 8.4% during the third quarter. Other energy product imports rose 5.1%, led by petroleum and coal products (+6.0%) and coal and other related products (+3.9%).

Machinery and equipment imports edged up 1.6% in September to $8.2 billion. Large imports of drilling machinery, used for the production and extraction of petroleum or gas, led to a 54.9% improvement in this category. Imports of aircraft, engines and parts grew 10.4% to $583 million, while communication and related equipment imports jumped 6.8%.

Imports of industrial goods and materials reached $5.2 billion, a rise of 2.5% in September. Metals and metal ores and chemicals and plastics contributed to this growth, while lower imports of other industrial goods and materials slightly offset these gains.

September’s merchandise imports increased for all major sectors except consumer goods, cooling a slight 0.5%, and forestry products, dipping 0.4% to $251 million.

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