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INDUSTRY PULSE: Demand for metals drives imports to record level

OTTAWA, Ont. -- Imports of industrial goods and materials increased 1.3% to a record $6.4 billion in September, acc...

OTTAWA, Ont. — Imports of industrial goods and materials increased 1.3% to a record $6.4 billion in September, according to Statistics Canada.

Record demand for steel (up 99.5% to $573 million), other iron and steel products (up 50.1% to $299 million) and organic chemicals (up 27.9% to $627 million) led to a 7.6% increase to $1.9 billion in imports of metals and metal ores in September. This import level is 60.8% higher than September 2003.

Agricultural and fishing product imports increased 3.7% to $1.8 billion in September. Rising shipments of fresh fruit and vegetables coupled with crude vegetable products and beverages made up most of the increase.
Imports of consumer goods increased slightly to $4.0 billion. Increases in apparel and footwear, photographic goods, printed matter and watches, sporting goods and toys offset declines in imports of televisions, house furnishings and prescription drugs.

Energy product imports decreased 2.6% to $2.0 billion. While imports of crude petroleum declined 5.7% to $1.4 billion, other energy product imports increased by 5.4% to $613 millionmainly on the strength of a 33.1% jump in imports of coal and related products to $293 million.

Imports of automotive products declined by 0.9% to $6.8 billion. Passenger auto and chassis imports rose by 6.1% to $2.1 billion. Trucks and other motor vehicles decreased by 0.9% to $1.3 billion. Imports of motor vehicle parts for new car production and repairs fell by 6.1% to $3.4 billion.

Imports of machinery and equipment declined by 0.5% to $8.8 billion. Increased imports of industrial and agricultural machinery, especially record levels of excavating machinery, failed to offset declines in imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment, office machines and equipment and communications equipment.

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