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INDUSTRY PULSE: Automotive products lead increase in exports

OTTAWA, Ont. -- Exports of automotive products, after cooling for several months as a result of production slowdown...

OTTAWA, Ont. — Exports of automotive products, after cooling for several months as a result of production slowdowns and plant retooling, showed strength in October and November, according to Statistics Canada data.

In contrast to October, when trucks alone pushed up auto export values, increases in cars, trucks and parts accounted for the rise in November.

Exports of industrial goods hit a record high of $8.5 billion in November, as a result of a 3.1% increase for the month. Metals and alloys accounted for most of the gain, rising 8.3% to $3.2 billion on the strength of nickel exports. Exports of uranium to the United States and United Kingdom also contributed to the advance.

The export story for 2006 has certainly been industrial goods and materials, specifically metals. Exports of industrial goods for the January to November period of 2006 are 11.3% greater than during the same period in 2005. Also, since June, industrial goods have been the highest value export sector, rising above machinery and equipment, Statistics Canada comments in its Daily Bulletin.

Energy and machinery and equipment also registered gains in November, with steady agricultural exports and declining forestry exports rounding out the export report card.

Energy export values were up 3.7% in November to $6.4 billion. An increase in exports of petroleum and coal products, specifically, ultra low sulphur diesel to the United States, secured the rise. Gas stations in the United States were mandated as of mid-October to make available this fuel, which has a sulphur content of less than 15 parts per million.

Natural gas values increased 1.8% for the month following two declines, while crude values remained unchanged after three consecutive decreases.
In machinery and equipment, a 7.2% rise in aerospace products exports assured the gain. For the year, aircraft exports are up with increased demand from the European Union and Asia compensating for a large drop in exports to the United States.

Exports of agricultural products remained at $2.7 billion, with a slight decline in wheat and fish exports being offset by an increase in barley, other cereal preparations and live animals.

Forestry exports were down 2.2% in November, continuing the downward trend that has dominated 2006.

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