Fabricated metal manufacturing bucked the trend for inventory levels. While inventory levels for most manufacturing industries was up in February, fabricated metal manufacturing inventories dropped 2.8%. PHOTO courtesy OSEON software.
Total inventory levels for Canadian manufacturing rose 0.9% to $122.3 billion in February, according to Statistics Canada. This made for a new record high.
The month saw increases in inventories of finished products (+1.7%) and goods in process (+1.7%) and little change in raw materials (-0.1%). The petroleum and coal product (+8.8%), aerospace product and parts (+5.4%) and chemical (+2.3%) industries posted the largest gains, while the fabricated metal (-2.8%), wood product (-3.0%) and primary metal (-0.9%) industries posted the largest declines.
The monthly growth of total inventories resulted from higher volumes as total inventory level in real terms grew 1.8% in February, while the Raw Materials Price Index declined 0.4%.
The inventory-to-sales ratio increased from 1.63 in January to 1.71 in February. This ratio measures the time, in months, that would be required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current level.
Unfilled orders rise
The total value of unfilled orders rose 0.6% to $109.1 billion in February, mainly on higher unfilled orders in the aerospace product and parts, other transportation equipment and railroad rolling stock industries, while the ship and boat building and plastics and rubber products manufacturing industries posted the largest declines. The total value of unfilled orders was up 9.9% on a year-over-year basis in February.
The total value of new orders decreased 2.7% to $72.2 billion in February, with substantial declines in the new orders of petroleum and coal products (-15.5%) and motor vehicles (-15.0%) industries. Meanwhile, the aerospace products and part industry recorded the largest increase.