Canadian manufacturing sales down 0.6 percent in April

Tuesday, 18 June 2019 22:33:35 (GMT+3)   |   San Diego

Manufacturing sales declined 0.6 percent to $57.8 billion in April, following a 2.6 percent increase in March. The largest declines were in the transportation equipment and primary metal industries. Excluding transportation equipment, manufacturing sales rose 0.8 percent. Sales were down in 8 of 21 industries, representing 36.1 percent of total Canadian manufacturing. In volume terms, manufacturing sales were down 0.8 percent.

Sales of transportation equipment decreased 6.7 percent to $10.2 billion in April, the fourth decline in five months. All seven industries posted declines led by motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts. Motor vehicle manufacturing decreased 8.9 percent to $4.7 billion following a 6.2 percent gain in March. Temporary plant shutdowns and fewer units assembled were the main reasons behind the decline. Motor vehicle parts manufacturing was down 4.9 percent to $2.5 billion, as some respondents indicated lower sales due to assembly plant shutdowns.

Primary metal manufacturing sales were down 5.3 percent to $4.2 billion following a 7.0 percent gain in March. The decrease was largely due to lower volumes and unplanned maintenance at some facilities. The largest decline was in the iron and steel mills and ferro-alloy industries, where sales were down 14.4 percent

Total inventories increased for the fifth consecutive month, up 1.3 percent to $88.2 billion in April. There were increases in 17 of 21 industries, led by higher inventories of petroleum and coal products (+7.6 percent). Increases were also reported in the primary metals (+3.0 percent) and food (+1.4 percent) industries.

The inventory-to-sales ratio increased to 1.53 in April from 1.50 in March. This ratio measures the time, in months, that would be required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current level.

In April, unfilled orders decreased 0.3 percent to $99.8 billion, following two consecutive monthly gains. The decline was mainly attributable to lower unfilled orders in the machinery industry and the other transportation equipment industry. The largest gain was observed in the aerospace product and parts industry.

New orders declined 1.4 percent in April, primarily due to decreases in the transportation equipment and machinery industries.

The unadjusted capacity utilization rate for the manufacturing sector decreased from 81.5 percent in March to 79.5 percent in April. There were declines in 14 of 21 industries led by transportation equipment, primary metals and petroleum and coal products.

The capacity utilization rate for transportation equipment declined 5.8 percentage points to 79.1 percent, mostly attributable to lower production at motor vehicle assembly plants. Primary metals fell 3.5 percentage points to 74.1 percent, which reflected lower production and maintenance shutdowns. The rate for the petroleum and coal products industry declined 3.2 percent.

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