Wood Largest Manufacturing Industry in BC
Manufacturing sales rose for the fourth consecutive month, up 0.6% to $64.8 billion in January on higher sales in 14 of 21 industries, led by the petroleum and coal (+6.8%) and wood (+6.5%) product industries. Total manufacturing sales were up 13.4% in January on a year-over-year basis.
Sales of wood products rose 6.5% to $4.1 billion in January, the fifth consecutive monthly increase driven by higher prices. Sales in constant dollars were unchanged. Prices of lumber and other sawmill products increased 14.6%, mainly on higher prices of softwood lumber. Exports of building and packaging materials increased 6.6% in January. Despite the gain in January, wood sales were down 2% in January compared with the same month a year earlier.
In January, manufacturing sales increased in five provinces, led by Quebec and British Columbia. Meanwhile, Ontario and Saskatchewan posted the largest declines.
In British Columbia, sales increased 4.3% to $5.5 billion in January, led by the wood (+11.5%) product industry which has become the largest manufacturing industry in British Columbia since June 2020 and contributed 24.2% to total manufacturing sales in January.
The capacity utilization rate for the entire manufacturing sector decreased from 75.7% in December to 74.1% in January. The capacity utilization rate fell in 12 of 21 industries. The decline was partially offset by higher capacity utilization in the wood product industry (+6.6 percentage point).