Manufacturing AUTOMATION

April 2023 sees a 0.3 percent increase in manufacturing sales, reaching $72.3 billion: Statistics Canada

June 22, 2023
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

The latest Statistics Canada report says that Canadian manufacturing sales increased 0.3 percent to $72.3 billion in April. This was primarily due to higher sales of motor vehicle parts ( up 25.1 percent) and petroleum and coal products (up 4.3 percent). According to the agency, this was the second consecutive monthly increase for the sector.

The report says that sales in the primary metal industry declined the most, down 5.4 percent. On a year-over-year basis, the total sales were down by 1.6 percent in April.

Sales in constant dollars rose 0.8 percent in April, indicating a higher volume of goods sold. The industrial product price index fell 0.2 percent in April, says the agency.

The report further shows that motor vehicle parts sales increased 25.1 percent to $3.8 billion in April, the highest level on record. According to Statistics Canada, the gains were mainly attributable to a significant increase in sales of engines and other motor vehicle parts in Ontario. This led to increased exports of motor vehicle engines and motor vehicle parts, up 10 percent. The agency explained that with the gain in April, sales in the motor vehicle parts industry were 41 percent higher compared with April 2022. As the supply chain issues continue to ease, transportation equipment manufacturers were able to increase production in the first four months of 2023 compared with the same months a year earlier to meet market demands and reduce order backlogs.


Sales in the petroleum and coal industry increased 4.3 percent in April, following two consecutive monthly declines. The increase in sales was driven by higher volumes (up six percent) as prices for refined petroleum energy products (including liquid biofuels) declined 2.6 percent in April.

Primary metal sales decreased 5.4 percent to $5.7 billion in April on declines in all primary metal industries, led by the non-ferrous metal (except aluminum) production and processing (down 25.5 percent) and iron and steel mills and ferro-alloy manufacturing (down 16.8 percent) industries. Real sales in the primary metal industry were down 5.8 percent.

The Statistics Canada report also shows that the total inventory levels were unchanged at $123.8 billion in April. Higher inventory levels of goods in process (up 0.3 percent) were offset by lower levels of raw materials (down 0.1 percent) and finished products (down 0.1 percent). At the industry level, inventories of the primary metal (up 1.9 percent) and machinery (up 1 percent) industries rose in April, while inventory levels declined in the paper product (down 4.8 percent) and other transportation equipment (down 10.9 percent) industries.

The capacity utilization rate (not seasonally adjusted) for the total manufacturing sector fell from 80.9 percent in March to 77.4 percent in April due to lower production. According to the agency, capacity utilization rates were down in 18 of 21 industries, most notably in the transportation equipment (down 5.9 percentage points), primary metal (down 4.5 percentage points) and fabricated metal product (down 6.2 percentage points) industries.

Print this page


Story continue below