Canadian chemical sales fall 5% in May from April

16 July 2010 16:25  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--Canadian chemicals producers recorded sales of Canadian dollar (C$) 3.635bn ($3.5bn) in May, down 5.0% from C$3.827bn in April, according to government statistics data released on Friday.

The decline came after a 0.5% increase in April from March.

Compared with May 2009, chemical sales rose 4.9%.

Meanwhile, Canadian sales of plastics and rubber products fell 0.5% to C$1.781bn in May, from C$1.790bn in April, but rose 17.4% year over year from May 2009.

Overall, Canadian manufacturing sales increased for the eighth month in a row, rising 0.4% to C$44.8bn in May from April. Compared with May 2009, manufacturing sales rose 16.5%.

New manufacturing orders rose 2.5% to C$45.5bn in May from April and were up 33.8% year over year from May 2009.

The manufacturing sector's inventory-to-sales ratio was 1.30 in May, compared with 1.32 in April and 1.63 in May 2009.

Economists said while Canadian manufacturing sales recorded sequential increases in past months, they were still below pre-recession levels.

As for the near-term outlook, Canadian manufacturers would likely depend on exporting to the US, where growth in the second half of the year seemed to be slowing down.

Also, Canada’s central bank may soon further increase interest rates, after hiking rates last month - the first increase in three years and the first among G7 countries since the recession. Higher interest rates would affect overall demand, they said.

Meanwhile, Canadian chemical railcar shipments continued to rise, a rail industry trade group reported earlier this week.

Year to date to 10 July, Canadian chemical railcar shipments were up 25.8% to 387,995, up from 308,441 in the same period in 2009.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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