Canadian metal fabricators posted their third consecutive monthly sales gain and reached a new montly sales high in November. PHOTO courtesy TRUMPF
Canadian manufacturing sales were flat overall at $72.3 billion in November, but metal manufacturers and several of the industries important to them managed to buck the trend with impressive sales increases.
Sales of durable goods were up 1.8% for the month, led by a 2.7% monthly gain in fabricated metal products sales. This was the third consecutive monthly sales gain for the fabricated metal product industry rose and marked a new high, reaching $4.5 billion. The growth was broad-based, with higher sales in 7 of 9 fabricated metal industries, led by architectural and structural metals (+6.6%). While prices of fabricated metal products (-0.4%) were slightly lower than the previous month, exports of these products rose 1.0%. On a yearly basis, sales were 20.6% higher in November.
There was also particularly strong uptick in the automotive sector, one of metalworking’s most important customers. Following three consecutive monthly decreases, sales in the motor vehicle industry rose 12.7% to $3.9 billion in November, as production in several assembly plants in Canada ramped up, which in turn led to higher capacity utilization rates amid supply constraints.
Sales in the primary metal industry meanwhile, rose 1.7% to $5.7 billion in November, mainly due to higher sales of alumina and aluminum production and processing (+12.7%) and non-ferrous metal (except aluminum) production and processing (+6.7%), mostly concentrated in Quebec.
“Prices for non-ferrous metal products increased 3.7%, while exports for other unwrought non-ferrous metal alloys rose 5.0%. Geopolitical uncertainties such as a potential ban on Russian metals and alterations in China’s COVID-19 policies have impacted metal markets. Year over year, sales of primary metals were down 0.5% in November,” Statistics Canada commented in its monthly update.