Manufacturing shipments down 0.2% in July

by Canadian Shipper

Manufacturing shipments slipped 0.2% in July to $43.0 billion, amid continuing forecasts of economic uncertainty, Statistics Canada reports.

Shipments have been on a downward trend since October 2000, and in July were at their lowest since February 2001. Shipments have been on a downward trend since October 2000 and were at their lowest in July since February 2001. Year-to-date shipments remained 2.2% lower than in the same period in 2000.

Lower July shipments in the petroleum and coal products and railroad rolling stock industries were largely offset by higher shipments in the beverage and tobacco products and the computer and electronic products industries. Thirteen of 21 industries, representing 58% of total shipments, decreased in July. Eight provinces reported lower shipment values as well.

Petroleum and coal products fell 8.0% in July, resulting in a 4.0% decrease in shipments for the month. Petroleum and coal product prices have dropped 9.9% since January, and shipments have fallen 11.3% over the same period. Longer summer shutdowns contributed to a 36.9% decrease in shipments in the railroad rolling stock industry, which were valued at $150 million for July. The food industry shipments fell 1.3% in July.

Offsetting July’s decreases were higher shipments in the beverage and tobacco products industry, as well as the computer and electronic products industry. Significantly higher sales by tobacco producers led to an 11.3% increase in July’s shipments of beverage and tobacco products. Shipments were $1.1 billion, and recovered much of the ground lost following three consecutive months of decline.

Computer and electronic product manufacturers reported shipments of $2.3 billion, up 4.8%. July’s increase is a slight recovery from June’s two-year low. Year-to-date shipments currently stand at $16.4 billion, 16.8% below levels of 2000. The motor vehicle parts industry also recovered by 2.8% this month, following a drop in June.

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