Manufacturing sales drop for second straight month in Alberta

Decline mainly the result of lower sales in the petroleum, coal product and chemical industries: StatsCan

Alberta manufacturing sales fell 6.8 per cent in November to $6.3 billion, the second consecutive monthly decrease, says Statistics Canada.

“The decline was mainly the result of lower sales in the petroleum and coal product (-14.0 per cent) and chemical (-9.3 per cent) industries,” said the federal agency on Tuesday.

On an annual basis, manufacturing sales in Alberta actually rose by 3.1 per cent.

Nationally, manufacturing sales fell 1.4 per cent to $57.3 billion in November, the second consecutive monthly decrease. The decline in November mainly reflected lower sales of petroleum and coal products. Excluding this industry, manufacturing sales rose 0.2 per cent, said StatsCan.

It said sales were down in 13 of 21 industries, representing 45.3 per cent of total manufacturing sales. Sales of non-durable goods fell 3.4 per cent to $27.2 billion, while sales of durable goods rose 0.5 per cent to $30.1 billion.

In volume terms, manufacturing sales decreased 0.9 per cent.

“Sales in the petroleum and coal product industry fell 13.8 per cent to $5.9 billion in November, following two consecutive monthly increases. Lower prices for petroleum and coal products (-6.8 per cent), as well as maintenance and turnaround work at some refineries and lower production at other refineries, contributed to the decline in November. Constant dollar sales of petroleum and coal products declined 8.4 per cent,” said Statistics Canada.

“Chemical product sales fell 2.1 per cent to $4.7 billion in November, following four consecutive monthly gains. There were widespread declines in most chemical manufacturing industries, particularly in the pesticide, fertilizer and other agricultural chemical manufacturing industry. In constant dollars, sales volumes of chemical products fell 1.3 per cent in November.”

On a year-over-year basis, sales were up 2.7 per cent across the country.

“The inventory-to-sales ratio rose from 1.46 in October to 1.47 in November. This ratio measures the time, in months, that would be required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current level,” said the federal agency.

“Unfilled orders rose 0.3 per cent in November to $96.6 billion, the second consecutive monthly increase. The gain reflected a 0.6 per cent increase in the aerospace product and parts industry to $53.3 billion. Unfilled orders in the aerospace product and parts industry represented 55.2 per cent of total manufacturing unfilled orders.”

– Mario Toneguzzi for Calgary’s Business


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