Wood product sales continue to decline

Statistics Canada

Following a 3.6% increase in June, manufacturing sales fell 1.5% in July to $59.6 billion. Sales were down in 12 of 21 industries, led by the wood product (-21.8%), aerospace product and parts (-19.0%), miscellaneous (-12.1%), and petroleum and coal product (-2.3%) industries.

Sales in constant dollars declined 1.7% to $48.9 billion in July, indicating a lower volume of goods sold. The Industrial Product Price Index decreased 0.4% in July, while the Raw Materials Price Index rose 2.2%. 

Wood product sales decline 

Following a 5.8% decline in June, sales of wood products fell 21.8% to $4.0 billion in July, driven by a lower volume of sales and prices. Sales in constant dollars declined 3.9% in July, while the price of lumber and other wood products dropped 23.0%. Exports of forestry products and building and packaging materials fell 12.7% in July. The total value of building permits in Canada decreased by 3.9%. Despite the recent declines, wood product sales were up 46.0% year over year.

Wood product industry contributes to lower sales in Quebec and British Columbia

Manufacturing sales decreased in six provinces in July, led by Quebec and British Columbia. Ontario reported the largest sales increase. 

Sales in Quebec fell 3.5% to $15.0 billion in July and there were lower sales in 15 of 21 industries. The wood product industry in Quebec posted the second consecutive month-over-month decline, down 25.5% to $941.2 million—the lowest level since October 2020. Quebec aerospace production decreased 22.3% in July and was down 19.9% year over year. 

In British Columbia, sales were down 8.6% to $5.1 billion on lower sales of wood (-24.1%), primary metal (-22.7%), and paper (-7.5%) products. Nevertheless, sales in the province were up 20.4% year over year. 

Following a 5.1% increase in June, sales in Ontario rose 1.1% to $25.8 billion in July, mainly on higher sales of motor vehicles (+14.7%), motor vehicle parts (+8.1%), and plastic and rubber products (+6.8%). Motor vehicle sales in July were the highest since March when the semiconductor part shortage began to affect auto manufacturers around the world. Despite the gain in July, motor vehicle sales in Ontario were down 35.8% year over year.

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