Ottawa - Manufacturing sales declined 0.5% to $48.2 billion in June 2013, the fourth decrease in six months, Statistics Canada reports. Manufacturing sales have been on a slow decline since the spring of 2012.
The decline in June mostly reflected lower sales in the miscellaneous manufacturing, fabricated metal product and wood product industries. Higher sales in the petroleum and coal product industry offset a portion of the decreases. Sales fell in 16 of 21 industries, representing about 56% of the manufacturing sector.
Constant dollar sales were down 1.3% as volumes fell.
In the miscellaneous manufacturing industry, sales fell 20.2% to $902 million. The drop was mostly caused by lower sales in the jewellery and silverware manufacturing sub-industry.
Sales in the fabricated metal product industry declined 6.5% to $2.6 billion. The decline was partly attributable to lower sales in the architectural and structural metals sub-industry.
Wood product sales decreased 7.7% to $1.9 billion, the second consecutive decline following a $2.2 billion peak in April 2013. Lower sales in June were widespread throughout the industry.
In the petroleum and coal product industry, sales increased 7.4% to $6.7 billion. The gain mostly stemmed from some refineries ramping up production and sales following slowdowns for maintenance and retooling work.
Transportation equipment sales rose 0.7% to $8.6 billion in June. The rise was caused by higher production in the aerospace product and parts sub-industry.
Largest absolute decline in Ontario
In Ontario, sales fell 1.9% to $22.2 billion, the fourth decline in six months. Almost half of the decline stemmed from lower sales in the miscellaneous manufacturing industry (-29.9%). Sales were also down in the fabricated metal product industry (-7.3%) and the petroleum and coal product industry (-5.4%).
Sales in British Columbia fell 4.5% to $3.2 billion in June. The main contributors to the decline were the wood product and the petroleum and coal product industries.
Nova Scotia posted an 8.5% decrease to $792 million, largely as a result of lower non-durable goods sales.
Sales in Quebec rose 3.6% to $11.0 billion, led by gains in the petroleum and coal product industry. In addition, production in the aerospace product and parts industry was up 13.2%, contributing to the provincial advance.
In Alberta, manufacturing sales edged up 0.1%, despite the floods that affected the southern part of the province in June.
Inventories edge downwards
Inventories edged down 0.2% to $68.6 billion in June. The decline reflected lower inventories of transportation equipment (-2.5%) and primary metals (-3.7%). However, these declines were almost entirely offset by higher inventories in the petroleum and coal product (+4.3%) and the wood product (+3.0%) industries.
The inventory-to-sales ratio was unchanged in June at 1.42. Recent values for the ratio have been the highest since the autumn of 2009.
Rise in aerospace unfilled orders
Unfilled orders advanced 2.7% to $73.2 billion in June, the sixth gain in eight months. The increase was entirely attributable to a 6.5% rise in the aerospace product and parts industry. Unfilled orders in the industry stood at a record high $41.6 billion in June.
New orders rose 2.5% to $50.1 billion, mostly as a result of higher orders in the aerospace product and parts industry.