Stats Can: Canadian Ship and Boat Manufacturing Up in April

According to Statistics Canada latest Manufacturing report, sales rose 1.0 percent to $50.4 billion in April, following two consecutive monthly declines.

Notably for the marine industry, the report indicates that Canadian ship and boat builders accounted $185 million in sales in April of 2016, up 29.3 percent over March 2016 and up 30.4 percent over April of 2015 (see chart).

However, the gains experienced in the marine category were marginal when compared to Canada's other major industries. The April increase reflects higher sales primarily in the petroleum and coal product, transportation equipment, and primary metal industries.

Sales increased in 10 of 21 industries, representing 55 percent of Canadian manufacturing sales.

In constant dollar terms, sales were up 1.4 percent, indicating that higher volumes of manufactured goods were sold in April. Prices for the manufacturing sector fell 0.5 percent, according to the Industrial Product Price Index.

Sales of Petroleum and Coal products Increase in April
Sales in the petroleum and coal product industry were up 8.3 percent to $4.1 billion in April, following a 13.4 percent increase in March. Higher petroleum prices contributed to the gain. Petroleum and coal product prices rose 2.5 percent in April, according to the Industrial Product Price Index.

Transportation equipment sales increased 2.1 percent to $11.0 billion, reflecting higher sales in most sub-industries. Production in the aerospace products and parts industry was up 6.3 percent to $1.7 billion. In this industry, there is generally a large gain in unadjusted production in March, followed by a subsequent decrease in April. Due to lower production in March this year, the decline in April was not as strong as usual, leading to a seasonally adjusted increase in production for the aerospace industry.

Sales in the railroad rolling stock industry advanced 39.5 percent to $202 million, the third increase in four months. Sales in this industry tend to be volatile compared with transportation equipment as a whole, due to the nature of the business.

Sales of primary metals were up 3.9 percent to $3.7 billion in April. This was the industry's fourth sales increase in five months.

Sales rise in Alberta, Quebec and Ontario
Sales increased in six provinces, with Alberta, Quebec and Ontario posting the largest gains.

Sales in Alberta increased 3.5 percent in April, following a 0.1 percent rise in March. The gain in Alberta was the result of a 19.6 percent advance in sales of petroleum and coal products. Despite the gain this month, sales in Alberta were $678 million (-11.8 percent) lower than in April 2015.

Sales in Quebec increased 1.4 percent to $11.6 billion, following three months of declines. Production in the aerospace product and parts industry was up 11.2 percent to $971 million. Higher sales of petroleum and coal products also contributed to the provincial gain.

Following two months of declines, sales in Ontario were up 0.4 percent to $24.9 billion. The gain in April was mainly the result of higher sales in the primary metals industry, which advanced 10.1 percent to $1.5 billion. Sales of transportation equipment increased 0.9 percent to $8.9 billion, the 9th gain in 12 months.

Data from the May Monthly Survey of Manufacturing will be released on July 15.