OTTAWA, Ont. — Total imports edged down in February, Statistics Canada reports, despite record high apparel imports and a big gain in imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment.
Imports of apparel and accessories posted a 9.1% increase to a record high $664.4 million, a result of increased volumes from China.
Imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment grew 17.5% to $1.1 billion, leading a gain in the machinery and equipment grouping. Other transportation equipment was the major contributor within this sector, primarily as a result of the HMCS Chicoutimi arriving in Halifax Harbour on February 1. Though the Department of National Defense purchased the submarine from Great Britain in 2004, it was sealifted to Halifax following a tragic fire which occurred off the coast of Ireland. As a result, it is included in February’s imports.
Imports were down in all other commodity groupings. Imports of automotive products fell 3.2%, with trucks and other motor vehicles, motor vehicle parts and passenger autos and chassis each contributing to the decline.
Crude petroleum imports rebounded in February, recovering the entire $270-million drop in January to return to December levels. Declines in coal and other energy products more than offset this increase. As a result, energy product imports were down 1.5% from the record-high in January to $2.5 billion.
Imports of industrial goods and materials declined 1.5%. While other industrial goods and materials and metals and metal ores each dropped 2.6%, imports of chemicals and plastics managed a 0.6% increase. Imports of chemicals and plastics have been rising for three consecutive months, hitting a record high $2.4 billion in February.
Imports of agricultural and fishing products fell 4.0% in February.
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