OTTAWA – According the recent Statistics Canada report, manufacturing sales decreased 1.7% to $71.5 billion in June, in over 14 of 21 subsectors. This decline was led by sales in the petroleum and coal products (-8.3%), chemical (-6.5%) and machinery (-5.5%) subsectors.
Sales of motor vehicles increased the most, rising 11.4% to $5.6 billion in June, this being the highest level since June 2019. On a quarterly basis, motor vehicle sales were up 8.1% in the second quarter of 2023, the third consecutive quarterly gain. Sales of motor vehicle parts, however, declined 6.8% in June following a significant increase in May. The exports of motor vehicles and parts increased 4.7% in June.
Following two consecutive monthly gains, sales of chemicals fell 6.5% to $5.8 billion in June, mainly driven by a 62.8% decline in sales of pesticide, fertilizer, and other agricultural chemicals. Sales of fertilizers declined in June, following the spring planting season in May where sales reached their highest level on record.
The sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 have disrupted the global supply of fertilizers. Some large fertilizer importers such as Brazil, which are facing the supply shortage, began to import fertilizers from alternative sources including Canada, resulting in higher sales of fertilizer products in Canada in the first half of 2023 compared with the same period a year earlier. On a yearly basis, total sales of chemical products posted a 6.2% decrease in June, while they were up 5.0% in the second quarter of 2023.
Sales of petroleum and coal products declined 8.3% to $7.9 billion in June, the second consecutive monthly decline and the lowest level since December 2021. On a quarterly basis, petroleum product sales were down 8.1% in the second quarter of 2023. The month-over-month decline in June was attributable to lower volumes (-10.8%), as prices of refined petroleum energy products (including liquid biofuels) rose 2.5% in June. Widespread slowdowns in economic activities as well as lower international trade weighed down industrial energy consumption and contributed to the decline in real sales of petroleum in June
Sales decline in five provinces, led by Alberta and Ontario
Manufacturing sales fell in five provinces in June, led by Alberta and Ontario. Sales in Quebec increased
Business Examiner Staff