Canadian manufacturing sales rose 0.6 percent in June to C$52 billion (US$47.6 billion), the fifth gain in six months, according to Statistics Canada. The gain stemmed from a 3 percent increase in non-durable goods sales, led by the chemical, petroleum and coal product as well as the food industries. Excluding the chemical industry, total sales edged down 0.1 percent in June.
Constant dollar sales rose 0.2 percent in June.
Sales in the chemical industry rose 8.6 percent to C$4.2 billion (US$3.8 billion) in June, their highest level since October 2008. Much of the gain in June reflected higher than usual sales in the pesticide, fertilizer and other agricultural chemical sub-industry. This year, colder and wetter weather in the Western provinces delayed planting, leading to some sales in this sub-industry shifting from May to June, which contributed to the stronger seasonally adjusted sales for the month. In addition, sales of pharmaceuticals and medicines also rose in June, contributing to the overall gain in the chemical industry.
In the petroleum and coal product industry, sales increased 4 percent to C$7.6 billion (US$7 billion). Most of the increase stemmed from higher volumes of products sold.
Food sales rose 2.2 percent to C$8 billion (US$7.3 billion) in June, the fourth increase in six months. Part of the gain in June reflected an increase in the seafood product preparation and packaging sub-industry, following weak sales in May.
Lower sales in the motor vehicle industry offset a portion of the gains in June. Sales in the industry were down 8.6 percent to C$4.5 billion (US$4.1 billion), the first decrease following two months of strong gains.
Sales rose in six provinces in June, led by Alberta and Quebec. A decrease in Ontario manufacturing sales offset some of the gains.
In Alberta, sales rose 4.7 percent to C$6.9 billion (US$6.3 billion), the sixth consecutive monthly gain. Total sales over the first six months of 2014 were 9.6 percent higher than in the same period in 2013. In the chemical industry, sales in June rose 12.5 percent following a 6.2 percent decline in May. Some sales in this industry shifted from May to June following a later than normal planting season. The machinery industry was also up in June, reflecting higher sales of mining and oil and gas field equipment.
Sales in Quebec increased 2.3 percent to C$12.1 billion (US$11.1 billion, following two months of declines. Over the first half of 2014, sales in Quebec were up 5.8 percent compared with the same period in 2013. Most of the gain in June stemmed from higher sales in the petroleum and coal product industry. Sales also rose in the chemical and primary metal industries.
Ontario manufacturing sales declined 1.3 percent to C$23.8 billion (US$21.8 billion) in June, following four months of gains. Despite the decrease in June, overall manufacturing sales for the province over the first half of 2014 were C$140.7 billion (US$128.9 billion), up 5 percent compared with the same period in 2013. The decrease in June was caused by an 8.5 percent drop in motor vehicle manufacturing sales. Excluding the motor vehicle industry, sales for the province were up 0.5 percent
Inventories rose 0.5 percent to C$72.2 billion (US$66.1 billion) in June, the fifth increase in six months. However, because of a similar rise in sales, the inventory-to-sales ratio remained at 1.39, the same level posted in May.
A 13.6 percent increase in petroleum and coal product inventories was the main factor behind the rise in total manufacturing inventories. Refineries increased their levels of raw materials on hand. Lower inventory levels in the aerospace product and parts industry (-4.4 percent) offset some of the gain.
Unfilled orders edged down 0.3 percent to C$89.1 billion (US$81.6 billion) in June, the third decrease in four months. Lower unfilled orders in the aerospace product and parts industry were responsible for the decline. This decrease was mostly offset by higher unfilled orders in the computer and electronic product industry.
In the aerospace product and parts industry, unfilled orders were down 2 percent to C$47 billion (US$43.1 billion), the fourth consecutive monthly decline. A 3.6 percent decrease in the value of the US dollar since the end of February was the primary factor causing these declines. Most unfilled orders in the aerospace industry are held in US dollars.
Unfilled orders in the computer and electronic product industry rose 22.6 percent to C$4.2 billion (US$3.9 billion). The gain was the third largest percentage increase since the current series began in 1992. A large increase in the navigational, measuring, medical and control instruments manufacturing sub-industry was the principal factor behind the advance.
New orders rose 0.6 percent to C$51.7 billion (US$47.4 billion) in June as a result of gains in 12 of 21 manufacturing industries.