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Manufacturing sector activity plummets

OTTAWA, Ont. -- Output in the manufacturing sector, a key indicator for future shipment volumes, contracted 2.2% in...


OTTAWA, Ont. — Output in the manufacturing sector, a key indicator for future shipment volumes, contracted 2.2% in April, Statistics Canada indicates.<br>
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Iron and steel pipe production plummeted 9.2% and iron and steel mills and foundries shrank 6.2% and 4.0% respectively.<br>
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The slowdown of 2.2% in information and communication technologies product manufacturing and 0.4% in machinery manufacturing was partially offset by gains in wood products of 1.3% and non-metallic mineral products of 1.0%.<br>
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The paper industry declined 1.0% in April. This decline was mainly due maintenance shutdowns at a number of mills and to some extent the strength of the Canadian dollar.<br>
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Veneer, plywood and engineered wood product manufacturing industry increased 3.9% while sawmills and wood preservation improved 1.3% as the housing market in Canada and the US remained strong.<br>
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Gains in the chemical and non-metallic mineral industries helped balance manufacturing losses. Pesticide, fertilizer, and other agricultural chemical manufacturing was up 3.1% as conditions in the fertilizer industry continued to improve – the world’s grain inventories as a percentage of consumption are reaching the lowest levels on record. <br>
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Cement and concrete products manufacturing rose 2.8% reflecting strong domestic and foreign demand. Laminated plastics were also up a significant 4.6%.<br>
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Seafood manufacturing declined 2.4%, as lower lobster stocks reduced the number of processing licences issued on the east coast and low product prices kept shrimp fishermen on shore.<br>
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Tobacco production fell a further 2.6% in April due to upcoming closures and high levels of inventories.<br>
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Output at wineries grew 4.7% in April as new product lines were introduced to the market and the exports of Canadian ice wine to the United States grew.<br>


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