Manufacturing sales fell 1.4 percent to $57.3 billion (US$42.9 billion) in November, the second consecutive monthly decrease, according to new data from Statistics Canada.
The decline in November mainly reflected lower sales of petroleum and coal products. Excluding this industry, manufacturing sales rose 0.2 percent.
Sales were down in 13 of 21 industries, representing 45.3 percent of total manufacturing sales. Sales of non-durable goods fell 3.4 percent to $27.2 billion (US$20.4 billion), while sales of durable goods rose 0.5 percent to $30.1 billion (US$22.6 billion). In volume terms, manufacturing sales decreased 0.9 percent.
Sales in the petroleum and coal product industry fell 13.8 percent to $5.9 billion (US$4.4 billion) in November, following two consecutive monthly increases. Lower prices for petroleum and coal products (-6.8 percent), as well as maintenance and turnaround work at some refineries and lower production at other refineries, contributed to the decline in November. Constant dollar sales of petroleum and coal products declined 8.4 percent.
Chemical product sales fell 2.1 percent to $4.7 billion (US$3.5 billion) in November, following four consecutive monthly gains. There were widespread declines in most chemical manufacturing industries, particularly in the pesticide, fertilizer and other agricultural chemical manufacturing industry. In constant dollars, sales volumes of chemical products fell 1.3 percent in November.
Partially offsetting these declines were increases in the transportation equipment and food industries. In the transportation equipment industry, sales rose 1.3 percent to $11 billion (US$8.2 billion) in November, following a 0.7 percent decline in October. The increase in November was mainly due to higher production at aerospace product and parts (+7.7 percent) and railroad rolling stock (+28.6 percent) industries.
Sales in the food industry rose for the second consecutive month, up 1.5 percent to $8.9 billion (US$6.7 billion) in November. The increase was largely attributable to higher sales in the grain and oilseed milling industry.