OTTAWA, Ont. — Imports of agricultural and fishing products shot up 8.8% in January, reaching a record high of $1.9 billion, Statistics Canada reports.
This was 14.3% above January 2004 levels, and still 2.3% above the very strong month of January 2003.
Imports of alcoholic beverages soared in January to a new high of $276.1 million, up 48.1% over December levels.
Restocking emptied-out inventories in Quebec in the final stages of the labour dispute contributed to increased import levels.
Imports of meat and meat preparations also jumped in January, up 6.5% to $126.2 million.
Energy product imports are up for the fifth consecutive month. Imports of energy products climbed an additional 2.2% to reach $2.6 billion.
Crude petroleum imports fell 11.9% to $1.6 billion while imports of other energy products, which include natural gas imports, soared from $782.3 million to $1.1 billion. Increasing volumes accounted for the majority of the jump.
Machinery and equipment imports, after a slump from July to November, were strong in December and January. Imports of these products grew by 1.6% in January, following a 3.2% increase in December. Demand for aircraft and for manufacturing assembly equipment fuelled this gain.
Imports of automotive products and industrial goods and materials also grew in January. Imports of other consumer goods, which include imports of apparel, fell 1.9% to $4.0 billion. This followed a strong December.
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