MRO Magazine

Manufacturing sales continue on upward trend

Ottawa, ON -- Statistics Canada reports that manufacturing sales advanced 0.2% in April 2010 to $44.5 billion....

Ottawa, ON — Statistics Canada reports that manufacturing sales advanced 0.2% in April 2010 to $44.5 billion. Sales increases by primary metal and petroleum and coal product manufacturers were largely offset by a decline in the food industry. Manufacturing sales have risen in eight of the past 10 months and have been trending upward since the low reached in May 2009.

Constant dollar manufacturing sales decreased 0.1% in April following seven consecutive months of increases.

Sales gains were reported in 11 of 21 industries, representing 67.8% of total sales.

In April, higher prices (+3.3%) were largely responsible for boosting manufacturing sales of primary metals 3.6%, marking the 8th increase in 10 months. Petroleum and coal product manufacturers posted a sales increase of 2.1%, partly attributable to some refineries returning to full production and a 0.7% increase in petroleum prices.


In the transportation equipment sector, which posted a 0.7% increase overall, the aerospace product and parts industry was up 7.1%. Sales in the motor vehicle industry decreased 1.0%.

Most of the gains in April were in the Atlantic provinces (+11.0%) and Quebec (+1.2%). Sales increased in Newfoundland and Labrador (+42.6%) and New Brunswick (+11.1%), both on the strength of the non-durable goods industries. Saskatchewan (+0.6%) was the only other province reporting a gain in manufacturing sales.

The increase in Quebec was widespread, including petroleum and coal products (+6.8%), transportation equipment (+6.3%) and primary metals (+3.5%). These gains were offset by decreases in the fabricated metal (-7.4%) and food product industries (-1.5%).

Sales in Ontario decreased 0.3% in April, reflecting falling sales in petroleum and coal products (-5.0%), beverage and tobacco products (-9.1%) and the motor vehicle industry (-0.8%). Offsetting these decreases were gains in primary metals (+2.5%) and the electrical equipment, appliance and component industry (+6.3%).

Manufacturers in Manitoba reported a 4.5% decrease in sales in April, reversing much of the 5.4% increase in March. Declines were reported in primary metals (-16.0%) and in electrical equipment, appliance and component sales (-67.2%). A 19.5% increase in chemical manufacturing sales offset some of April’s losses.

Sales in Alberta decreased 2.7% following eight consecutive months of increases. The petroleum and coal products industry (-10.9%) accounted for most of the decrease.

In British Columbia, sales declined 2.5% in April following a 4.2% gain in March. Decreases were seen in many industries, including food manufacturing (-3.0%) and computer and electronic product manufacturing (-14.6%).

Inventory levels increased 0.3% to $59.1 billion in April following a 0.7% decrease in March. The declines in inventories have levelled off since November 2009.

The largest inventory increases were in the food industry (+2.2%), primary metal industries (+1.5%) and aerospace product and parts (+1.3%).

There were offsetting decreases in the chemical industry (-1.5%) and the petroleum and coal product industry (-0.7%).

Unfilled orders declined for the second consecutive month, falling 0.2% to $52.9 billion in April. Excluding the aerospace product and parts industry, unfilled orders increased 0.9%.

The decline in unfilled orders was largely driven by aerospace product and parts (-1.7%) and the fabricated metal industry (-3.9%).

New orders increased 0.3% to $44.4 billion in April.

Data from the May Monthly Survey of Manufacturing will be released on July 15.