OTTAWA, Ont. — In January, temporary plant closures and production slowdowns at some factories contributed to declines in the manufacturing of motor vehicles and parts. Shipments of motor vehicles tumbled by 4.6% to $5.4 billion, the third decrease in a row, according to Statistics Canada figures released this week.
Meanwhile, manufacturers of motor vehicle parts lost most of the substantial gains of December (+8.6%) as shipments fell 7.6% to $2.6 billion.
“The automotive sector has been quite unpredictable over the past year. Canada is home to the assembly of several popular models in North America. Nevertheless, soaring gas prices, fickle consumers and lagging sales, despite tempting retail incentives, were among several factors contributing to some major announcements of restructuring in the motor vehicle manufacturing industry planned over the next few years,” Statistics Canada commented in its Daily Bulletin.
Other industries reporting lower January shipments included railroad rolling stock (-30.9%) and paper (-4.2%) manufacturing.
Despite January’s decrease overall, the majority of industries posted higher shipments.
Robust global demand and soaring industrial prices fuelled a 4.8% jump in shipments of primary metals to $4.2 billion in January. Primary metal prices surged 3.0% in January, led by strong demand for aluminium, nickel and zinc products.
Above-average temperatures this winter have contributed to plenty of construction activity in North America, and consequently a rise in the price of lumber products (+1.6%). As a result, shipments of wood products rose 1.8% to $3.0 billion in January, the highest level since May 2005.
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