12 June 2009 16:37 [Source: ICIS news]
TORONTO (ICIS news)--Canada’s chemical industry capacity utilisation rate dropped to 74.4% in first quarter, down 6.8 percentage points from 81.2% in the 2008 first quarter, according to a statistics release on Friday.
Sequentially, chemical capacity industry utilisation fell 3.6 points from a revised 78.0% rate in the 2008 fourth quarter, Statistics Canada (StatsCan) said.
The decline in the chemicals industry was in line with a continued decline in overall Canadian industry and manufacturing utilisation.
Overall first-quarter industrial capacity utilisation was at 69.3%, down 10.5 percentage points from 79.8% in the 2008 first quarter and down 5.6 points from 74.9% in the 2008 fourth quarter, Statistics Canada (StatsCan) said.
The quarter marked the first time that industrial capacity utilisation fell below the 70% level since the statistics agency started to report the capacity data series in 1987, it said.
The main factors driving the decline were the durable goods industries, especially the transportation equipment industry, the construction sector, and the mining sector - excluding oil and gas extraction, Statscan said.
The manufacturing sector lowered production capacity in the first quarter to 65.9%, down 14.2 points from 80.1% in the 2008 first quarter.
Sequentially, manufacturing capacity utilisation was down 7.8 points from 73.7% in the fourth quarter of 2008. “This was the largest quarterly decline on record for the entire manufacturing sector,” StatsCan said.
In related news, Canadian chemical railcar shipments were reported down 26.4% year-to-date to 6 June, to 245,169, from 332,913 in the same period in 2008, according to data provided by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
The Canadian decline in chemical railcar shipments compares with a 17.4% decline in the ?xml:namespace>
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