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INDUSTRY PULSE: Forest products rebound to lead increase in exports across many sectors


OTTAWA, Ont. — In the last seven months of 2004, exports of forestry products dropped nearly 15% to settle at $3.0 billion in December. In January, however, <br>
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Exports of forestry products presented the most positive surprise in January, reversing their 15% drop over the past seven months.<br>
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Private housing starts in the United States were unusually high in January, perhaps as a result of rebuilding after the hurricane season. This surge in construction contributed to the increased demand for other wood fabricated materials (+$39.6 million).<br>
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Newsprint paper exports also grew in January, increasing 3.4% to $519.0 million. This increase was entirely a result of higher prices as volumes declined slightly.<br>
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Strong automotive exports at the end of 2004 have carried on into January. Exports of automotive products grew to $7.5 billion in January, adding another 1.3% to December’s jump.<br>
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Exports of agricultural and fishing products increased by 4.4%, reaching $2.5 billion in January. Wheat exports increased 5.3% to $252.0 million, nearing the level held prior to October’s decline to $175.6 million. Exports of other agricultural and fishing products, which include fish and fish preparations and other crude vegetable products, jumped 4.3% to $2.2 billion.<br>
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Exports of other consumer goods, industrial goods and materials, and machinery and equipment each also showed increases.<br>
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The only product group to decline in exports in January was energy products. However, this decline was large enough to offset the increases in all other trade sectors.<br>
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Energy exports decreased by 12.5% to $5.9 billion. Natural gas exports fell 16.7% to $2.5 billion, accounting for well over half of the drop. Exports of crude petroleum fell by 11.3% to $2.2 billion while other energy product exports declined 4.1% to $1.2 billion.<br>
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Export prices for natural gas and crude petroleum both dropped considerably in January. The decreases were entirely a result of these lower prices as volumes actually increased.<br>


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