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Exports of automotive products decline for the fourth straight month

After trending upwards from June 2009 to May 2010, exports of automotive products declined for the fourth consecutive month in September. Automotive products exports fell 6.6% to $4.8 billion, largely reflecting lower volumes. Exports of passenger autos, down 10.9%, accounted for the drop in the sector.

Following a 27.3% gain in August, exports of other consumer goods fell 15.9% to $1.4 billion, as volumes declined 15.2%. Lower exports of medicinal and pharmaceutical products were the main source of the decline.

Exports of industrial goods and materials declined 2.3% to $7.8 billion, as volumes fell 3.0%. Precious metals and copper ores, which led the sector's gain in August, largely contributed to the decrease. Higher exports of nickel and alloys moderated the decline in the sector.

Exports of machinery and equipment increased 3.6% to $6.7 billion, the fifth increase in six months. Exports of aircraft, up 13.9%, represented over two-thirds of the gain in the sector.

Imports of precious metals reach a record high

Imports of industrial goods and materials rose 5.6% to $7.6 billion, led by imports of metals and metal ores. Imports of precious metals reached a record high in September, rising 38.6% to $1.0 billion. Metals in ores also contributed to the sector's growth.

Machinery and equipment imports increased 3.2% to $10.2 billion, the eighth consecutive monthly gain. Volumes rose 2.3% and have been on an upward trend since January 2010. Aircraft, engines and parts led the growth in September. Engines, turbines and motors also contributed to the gain, reflecting the expansion of wind farm projects in Canada.

Imports of automotive products fell 4.8% to $5.5 billion. Imports of motor vehicle parts, down for the fourth consecutive month, accounted for almost two-thirds of the decrease. Imports of passenger autos and trucks also declined in September.