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INDUSTRY PULSE: Imports recover in July

OTTAWA, Ont -- Hauls into the US may have slowed in July but the backhauls into Canada showed improvement.

OTTAWA, Ont — Hauls into the US may have slowed in July but the backhauls into Canada showed improvement.

Industrial goods and materials imports increased for the sixth consecutive month, rising 1.8% to $6.3 billion in July, data released by Statistics Canada reveals.

Metals and metal ores imports increased 3.0% to a record $1.8 billion on continued commodity price strength for steel and iron products.

Energy product imports increased 10.2% to $2.2 billion on strong imports of crude petroleumprimarily from the North Sea to eastern Canadian refineries. Crude petroleum imports gained 5.3% to $1.3 billion. Coal and petroleum products imports increased by 18.1% to just under a billion dollars.

Imports of automotive products jumped a seasonally adjusted 8.1% to $7.0 billion. While many auto plants paused production during July, import activity was higher than usual for the same time of year. Passenger auto and chassis imports rose a seasonally adjusted 21.9% to $2.2 billion. Trucks and other motor vehicles increased by 12.5% to $1.4 billion while imports of motor vehicle parts fell slightly to $3.4 billion.

Imports of machinery and equipment declined for a second month in row, down 1.8% to $8.7 billion. Most of the decrease in machinery and equipment was accounted for in declines to the import of aircraft and other transportation equipment, including railway rolling stock. Imports of this commodity grouping fell by 20.9% to $1.0 billion.

Other machinery and equipment imports, which include high tech and communications equipment, fell by 2.0% to $4.0 billion. Imports of industrial and agricultural machinery increased 6.5% to $2.3 billion on strong demand for industrial engines, turbines and excavating machinery.

Imports of consumer goods rose 1.6% to $4.0 billion. Imports of home furnishings increased for a sixth consecutive month to a record high level. Furnishings have been in heavy demand because of Canada’s hot housing market.

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