OTTAWA, Ont. — Transborder carriers had a strong month in April with Canadian exports to the U.S. growing 3.3%, according to figures released by Statistics Canada this morning.
Since April 2003, when the Canadian dollar was in the midst of its rapid appreciation against the US dollar, exports to the United States have risen 7.0%.
Exports of industrial goods and materials hit a new high in April, thanks to a half-billion-dollar increase spread throughout most of the sector. Strong international demand and increased manufacturing activity have fuelled exports of these products to their third consecutive monthly rise, an increase of 8.0% in April.
Metal ore exports continued to grow; particularly those containing iron ores, which have been growing for the past nine months, reaching $216 million. Chemicals, aluminum and precious metals and alloys also contributed to the increase in the industrial goods sector, while exports of synthetic rubber and plastics set a new high by surpassing $1 billion.
A gain of 4.8% in Canada’s largest export sector, machinery and equipment, was led by higher aircraft and agricultural machinery exports as a variety of other equipment and tools also pitched in $120 million to the growth. Passenger car exports increased 5.0% in April, the third consecutive monthly rise. They are now 10.2% higher than one year ago. Trucks and motor vehicle parts exports showed negligible growth.
Higher export volumes of gasoline sparked growth in petroleum and coal products, while natural gas exports rose on both volume and price hikes. Crude petroleum exports have increased 30.8% over the last year, despite slipping for the third straight month in April as prices continued to escalate amid supply concerns. The combined effect of these movements was an increase of 4.1% in exports of energy products.
Sustained housing demand from the United States increased exports of most forestry products. Continuing their surge were ‘other wood fabricated materials’, namely, oriented strand board and plywood, whose exports grew 7.0% to $791 million. Exporters are receiving strong prices for these products, whose growth has exceeded that of lumber over the last year.
Improving industrial growth has contributed to higher wood pulp exports in every month of the first quarter and another 14.0% for the month of April.
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