MRO Magazine

Alberta’s manufacturing sector has seen a 15-year growth in machinery sales of 300%

Ottawa - In 2012, according to a new Statistics Canada report, Alberta was the third-largest province in terms of manufacturing, with sales of $74.8 billion. The province accounted for 12.7% of manufacturing sales in Canada, while British...


Ottawa – In 2012, according to a new Statistics Canada report, Alberta was the third-largest province in terms of manufacturing, with sales of $74.8 billion. The province accounted for 12.7% of manufacturing sales in Canada, while British Columbia followed with 6.5%. In comparison, Alberta and British Columbia each accounted for about 8.0% of Canadian manufacturing in 1997. In 2012, Ontario accounted for 46.0% of national manufacturing activity, the most of any province.

The recent economic recession saw manufacturing sales in Alberta drop 23.1% in 2009. The province recovered quickly, however, with annual sales in 2011 exceeding the previous high set in 2008. Only New Brunswick and Nova Scotia also exceeded 2008 sales levels by 2011. Growth in Alberta continued in 2012, with annual sales up 5.6% compared with sales in 2011.

In terms of annual sales, the top three manufacturing industries in Alberta in 2012 were petroleum and coal products, chemical products, and food. Food was the largest manufacturing industry until 2002, when it was surpassed by the chemical products industry. Chemical products was the largest manufacturing industry in 2003 and 2004. Since 2005, the petroleum and coal products industry has had the highest annual sales.

Since 1997, the petroleum and coal products industry has contributed the most to sales growth in the province, with sales advancing over 300%, from $4.9 billion to $19.6 billion in 2012. Only machinery sales have held pace over the same period, gaining about 300%, with sales increasing from $2.3 billion to $9.1 billion.

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Other industries with significant growth since 1997 include fabricated metal products (+213.6%), non-metallic mineral products (+134.1%), chemical manufacturing (+89.9%), and food manufacturing (+74.6%). The only industry with a notable decrease in annual sales was computer and electronic products, which fell 67.6% from $2.1 billion in 1997 to $672 million in 2012.