Forestry exports fall for fifth month in row; lead overall decline

by Canadian Shipper

Another significant drop in the value forestry exports was the main contributor to the overall decline in October’s export numbers.

Forestry product exports declined for the fifth consecutive month, falling 7.2% to $3.1 billion, Statistics Canada records show.

"Prices for forestry products, which fell from record levels, were a major factor in the decline," Statistics Canada commented in its Daily Bulletin.

Exports of lumber and sawmill products tumbled 13.5% to $1.6 billion, while newsprint and other wood products fell 2.7%. Wood pulp and wood product exports rebounded from September’s typhoons in Japan, rising $34 million to $550 million.

Exports of energy products fell by 0.7% to $5.8 billion. A drop in exports of natural gas led the decline with a fall of 8.9% to $2.2 billion, while crude petroleum exports rose 1.9% to $2.2 billion. However, exports of natural gas, crude petroleum and other energy products were well above the October 2003 levels.

Exports of agricultural products, which plummeted in September, rebounded with growth of 1.5% to $2.5 billion.

Exports of canola and barley, in particular, bounced back, with canola exports more than tripling to $143.6 million, while barley exports rose 11.6% to $20.1 million. Unmilled cereals nearly doubled to $22.8 million.

Because of poor weather conditions, wheat exports continued their downward trend. During September and October combined, they declined 59.4% to hit their lowest level for October since 1990.

Automotive exports were up in October, rising 1.5% to $7.5 billion. Truck and other motor vehicle exports, which were up 40% in October to $1.6 billion, led the increase. Exports of motor vehicle parts also rose, by $61.7 million to $2.3 billion. Automobile exports, in contrast, fell by 9.8% to $3.7 billion, the lowest level since February.

After declining for four consecutive months, exports of machinery and equipment rose slightly in October to $7.7 billion. Exports of aircraft and other transportation equipment, which had declined over the last two months of the third quarter, experienced a recovery of $51.4 million. Industrial and agricultural machinery exports increased marginally to reach $1.7 billion. Exports of other machinery and equipment were the only products in this group to decline, falling 1.0% to $4.4 billion.

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