Source: Statistics Canada   ; Manufacturing shipments in Canada tumbled in June, falling  ; 1.8% to  ; $48.6  ; billion. This was the largest decrease since January and the third consecutive monthly decline.
Despite these decreases, second-quarter shipments still managed to gain  ; 0.7% compared with the first quarter of  ; 2007. This was due to high shipment levels at the start of the second quarter after a particularly strong March. Examining the first six months of this year, manufacturing shipments were up  ; 0.1% compared with the first six months of  ; 2006.   ; Using constant dollars, which take price fluctuations into account, the volume of manufacturing shipments decreased  ; 1.7% in June to  ; $44.3  ; billion. This was only the second decrease in constant dollar shipments in the past nine months.   ; In addition to the sharp decline in the transportation equipment industry, many other sectors also reported a drop in shipments in June. On a sector-by-sector basis,  ; 13  ; of  ; 21  ; manufacturing industries decreased, representing about  ; 75% of total shipments.
Excluding motor vehicles and parts, shipments in June were notably less weak, losing only  ; 0.5%.
Shipment decreases were led once again by durable goods manufacturers, whose shipments dropped  ; 3.2%, a third consecutive monthly decrease. Transportation equipment, primary metals and machinery manufacturers were the primary contributors to the slump. Shipments of non-durable goods also fell, slipping  ; 0.3% to  ; $22.9  ; billion. Price-driven declines in petroleum and pulp and paper helped to fuel this reduction.   ; Unfilled factory orders, a proxy for future shipment performance, were strong once again, increasing  ; 2.0% in June to  ; $49.8  ; billion. New orders dipped slightly by  ; 1.0% to  ; $49.6  ; billion, as a result of weakness within the transportation sector.   ; Transportation Industry Drags The automotive industry was at the forefront of weaker shipments in June. Motor vehicle shipments plunged for the third consecutive month, decreasing by almost  ; $650  ; million (-13.3%), the largest monthly loss since August  ; 2003. An appreciating Canadian dollar and soft conditions in the US auto market, which is the primary destination for over  ; 85% of domestically produced automotive products, contributed to the recent downturn in motor vehicle shipments.   ; Among the largest remaining shipment decreases were those by aerospace products and parts manufacturers (-4.6%) and machinery manufacturers (-2.8%).   ; Primary metal shipments lost ground for a second consecutive month, slipping by  ; 0.8%. A volume-led increase was negated by a price decrease of  ; 3.6% in June, following declines in the value of several primary metals, including nickel and copper alloys. In addition, an ongoing labour dispute at a major primary metal factory played a limiting role, hindering an otherwise strong first half of  ; 2007  ; for the sector.   ; On the other hand, shipments were up for miscellaneous manufacturers (+8.5%), printing and related support activities (+7.0%) and wood product manufacturers (+2.0%).   ; By Province The four largest provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec) in terms of manufacturing shipments each posted decreases in June, while the Maritime Provinces, as well as Manitoba and Saskatchewan, reported moderate-to-strong increases during the month.   ; Ontario was particularly hard hit by the sharp drop in shipments by the automotive industry in June. The transportation equipment industry, which tumbled  ; 9.1% during the month, accounts for about  ; 30% of Ontario's total manufacturing output. Excluding