Automotive growth boosts exports

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OTTAWA, Ont — Transborder auto haulers had much to smile about in February.

A $350 million surge in truck exports, combined with modest gains in cars and motor vehicle parts led the export growth in February.

High valued scientific and navigational equipment exports, strong furniture shipments to the United States and increases for most commodity areas propelled the machinery and equipment sector to $7.4 billion. The lone decline came in aircraft exports.

Exports of industrial goods and materials reached a record high of $6.2 billion, attributable in part to strong international demand and higher prices for metal ore commodities, whose shipments improved 20.0% to $690 million.

Zinc and copper showed the largest jumps in February, complemented by higher exports of aluminum, metal-fabricated products and organic chemicals.

Much of the growth in forestry exports was price induced, as sustained US housing demand elevated prices for plywood and oriented strand board. Lumber exports ended four months of declines, rising 3.2% to $774 million, the net result of higher prices and lower volumes.

Prices also played a role in higher natural gas exports, and combined with volume increases, led to a $200 million rise for the month. Stronger exports of petroleum and coal products also exerted some upward pressure on the energy product sector, while crude petroleum exports dropped 6.9% and prices rose for the fourth straight month.

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