Exports decrease for the third consecutive month

by Canadian Shipper

OTTAWA, Ont. — Exports edged down for the third consecutive month in October, Statistics Canada records reveal.

Decreases in agricultural and fishing products and energy products led the decline. In contrast, machinery and equipment recorded the largest increase in value.

The agricultural and fishing products sector continued its descent, falling 5.1% to $2.7 billion. Canola exports plunged 45.1%, with volumes dropping significantly. Canola exports tend to be unpredictable as they are sensitive to shipping patterns. Wheat also declined (-8.2%). These declines were offset somewhat by a second month of soaring exports of barley to various overseas destinations that prefer it for livestock feed.

Falling exports of petroleum and coal products pushed energy products downward 1.8% to $7.6 billion. Natural gas and crude petroleum also shrank. Volumes were down in all three components while the prices for petroleum and coal products and natural gas were up. The price of crude petroleum was down.

Automotive products fell 1.0% to $6.2 billion, as exports of motor vehicle parts dropped for the third consecutive month. Trucks and other motor vehicles also declined, falling for the ninth time in the last 10 months. Passenger autos increased for the second straight month, up 1.9% to $3.4 billion, partially offsetting these declines.

Industrial goods and materials slipped 0.6% to $8.2 billion, the third monthly decrease after setting a record in July. This reflected weaker exports of metals and alloys as well as chemicals, plastics and fertilizers. Aluminum accounted for the bulk of the decline, followed by organic chemicals. In contrast, exports of metal ores surged 17.0% to $1.1 billion on the widespread strength in volume of copper, nickel and iron ores.

Machinery and equipment rose 1.9% to $7.7 billion, boosted by exports of aircraft and other transportation equipment, which rebounded 24.0% after hitting its lowest level since January 2000 in September.

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