Home » Canadian Manufacturing Shipments Down in April
Canadian Manufacturing Shipments Down in April
June 18, 2007
Following a strong gain in March, Canadian manufacturing shipments edged down in April. Shipments decreased by  ; 0.6% to an estimated  ; $49.7  ; billion.   ; Excluding the motor vehicle parts and accessory industries, manufacturing shipments increased  ; 1% in April.   ; At  ; 1997  ; prices, shipments rose  ; 0.5% to  ; $45  ; billion. The constant dollar measurement takes price fluctuations into account. This was the fifth volume advance in six months.
Shipments declined in  ; 12  ; of  ; 21  ; manufacturing industries, which represent about  ; 51% of total output.   ; Shipments of non-durable goods increased for the third consecutive month in April, rising  ; 0.7% to  ; $22.5  ; billion. Durable goods dropped  ; 1.7%, as shipments by automotive and aerospace products manufacturers slipped after a robust March. The decrease in durable good shipments was only the second negative result in the last seven months.   ; Shipments in the transportation equipment sector plunged  ; 7.6% in April, offsetting most of the  ; 8.6% advance posted in March. Excluding the transportation sector, shipments were positive for the most part, led by primary metals and petroleum and coal products.   ; New orders showed strength, increasing  ; 0.8% in April after slipping  ; 0.4% in the previous month. Meanwhile, unfilled factory orders, an indicator of probable future shipments, remained robust with a  ; 1.9% gain.   ; Transportation equipment shipments fall back Transportation equipment shipments reversed direction in April, giving up the sizeable gains realized in March. Shipments of motor vehicles tumbled  ; 11.1% to  ; $5  ; billion after a jump of  ; 8.7% to  ; $5.7  ; billion the previous month. Shipments had surged in March following a rail strike that had affected motor vehicle manufacturers in February. In addition, after a strong March due to quarter-end production, the aerospace products and parts industry decreased  ; 6.4% in April.   ; On a positive note, continued demand in Asia for primary metal products pushed both shipments and prices higher in April. Shipments of primary metal products rose  ; 5.9% in April to  ; $4.8  ; billion, the highest level on record. This was the third consecutive monthly increase, after a period of relative stability in the latter half of  ; 2006. Prices for primary metals accounted for some of the increased value of shipments in April, rising  ; 1.1% from March.   ; Shipments by petroleum and coal product manufacturers remained very strong, advancing  ; 4.5% from March to a level not seen since August  ; 2006. Most of the gain can be attributed to a  ; 3.6% price increase on rising demand and ongoing concerns in the Middle East.   ; Provincial results split in April The provinces were evenly split in April as substantial declines in Ontario and Manitoba were partly offset by higher shipments in Quebec and British Columbia.   ; Following March's  ; 4% surge, Ontario's manufacturers posted a  ; 2.0% decline (-$490 million) to  ; $23.9  ; billion in April. Shipments had been stronger than normal in March, due to the end of a recent rail strike that had impeded some industries in February. As a result, Ontario's motor vehicle and parts manufacturers were among the top contributors to April's decline.   ; Manitoba's manufacturing sector also gave back most of March's considerable gains (+11.8%), as shipments tumbled  ; 10.4% (-$147.9 million) to  ; $1.3  ; billion. Shipments had spiked in March on the strength of several industries, all of which have since returned to more normal levels. Primary metals and transportation equipment were the main contributors to the decline.   ; Offsetting Ontario and Manitoba, shipments in Quebec advanced  ; 1.5% (+$184  ; million) to  ; $12.2  ; billion, the third successive increase. Healthy demand and rising prices boosted the primary metals and petroleum products industries.   ; Resource-based industries were also the primary contributors in both British Columbia (+2.2%) and Saskatchewan (+7.8%).