INDUSTRY PULSE: Aerospace manufacturing tumble main cause of drop in shipments

OTTAWA, Ont. — The brunt of September’s decline in manufacturing activity and shipment levels was concentrated in the aerospace products and parts industry.

Seasonal factors, coupled with the completion of some contracts in prior months, contributed to a 22.9% drop in production to $880 million in September, according to Statistics Canada’s report. In spite of the big decrease, however, year-to-date production remained 10.7% above levels of the same period in 2003.

Shipments of primary metals fell 1.7% from August’s record high of $3.9 billion. Although steel product prices remained strong, industrial prices for primary metals have eased in recent months (-1.1% in September), contributing to the lower shipments.

Other industries reporting decreases included wood products (-1.6%) and paper (-1.5%) manufacturing.
Several industries continued to report strong manufacturing activity in September, partly offsetting the overall decline in manufacturing for the month. Shipments of petroleum and coal products topped the $4 billion mark (+2.5%) for the first time ever entirely due to a 2.5% boost in petroleum prices for the month. Wide-ranging increases were reported by the booming fabricated metals products industry (+2.9%). January-to-September shipments for this industry are up 10.5% versus 2003.

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