Fabricated metal manufacturing sales were down 1.5% in February but up an impressive 9.1% year-over-year. PHOTO courtesy OMAX.
Canadian manufacturing sales declined 3.6% to $71.5 billion in February, following a 4.5% increase in January, according to the latest release of monthly manufacturing data from Statistics Canada.
The monthly decline resulted from lower volumes and prices as sales in real terms decreased 2.4% in February and the Industrial Product Price Index edged down 0.8%. It’s also important to note that year over year, total manufacturing sales were up 3.8% in February. Looking specifically at fabricated metal manufacturing, sales were down 1.5% for the month but up an impressive 9.1% year-over-year.
February’s decreases were observed in 12 of 21 industries, led by the petroleum and coal product (-14.9%), motor vehicle (-12.3%) and primary metal (-4.2%) industries. Conversely, the machinery (+3.0%) and electrical equipment, appliance and component (+6.0%) industries posted the largest increases.
After three consecutive monthly increases, sales of motor vehicles were down 12.3% to $4.2 billion in February, driven by reduced production associated with insufficient supply of chips and materials. Fewer calendar days in February compared with January also had a role in the decrease. Sales of motor vehicle parts edged up 0.3% in February, the slowest monthly growth rate in five months. Exports of motor vehicles and parts fell 4.4%. Despite the monthly decrease, sales of motor vehicles were up 9.5% in February compared with the same month last year.
Sales of primary metals declined 4.2% to $5.6 billion in February, following a 4.4% increase in January, with decreases spanning all five primary metal industries. The non-ferrous metal (except aluminum) production and processing industry (-14.7%) led the decline, coinciding with lower prices of primary non-ferrous metal products (-2.4%) in February. Other notable contributors to the monthly decline were related to ferrous metal industries such as the steel product manufacturing from purchased steel (-12.2%) and iron steel mills and ferro-alloy manufacturing (-6.1%) industries. While prices for primary ferrous metal products increased (+1.7%), exports of most unwrought metal products were down in February. Sales in volume terms declined 4.7% month over month, while on a yearly basis, sales in current dollars edged down 1.0% in February.
Machinery industry increases the most
Sales in the machinery industry rose 3.0% to a record-high $4.6 billion in February, the fourth consecutive monthly increase. The gain was broad-based, with elevated sales in five of seven manufacturing industries, led by the industrial machinery manufacturing industry (+18.2%). Year over year, sales increased 20.0% in February.