Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Aug 14, 2020

Manufacturing Sales - JuneManufacturing sales rose by a record 20.7% to $48.7 billion in June, following an 11.6% increase in May. Many factories operated at a much higher capacity in June, with the capacity utilization rate (not seasonally adjusted) for the total manufacturing sector increasing 10.9 percentage points to 73.3%. Consistent with the increase in sales and capacity utilization in June, the May reference month release of the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions indicated that almost one-fourth (23.9%) of manufacturers expected to increase their number of employees over the next three months. Still, the capacity utilization rate remained 8.0 percentage points below the June 2019 level (81.3%). 

Sales were up in all 21 industries, led by the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts industries. Excluding these two industries, manufacturing sales increased 10.3%. Nevertheless, total manufacturing sales in June were 13.2% below their pre-pandemic level in February.

In real (or volume) terms, manufacturing sales increased 18.4%, indicating a higher volume of products sold in June.

Large quarterly decreases for manufacturing sales

Total manufacturing sales decreased from $162.4 billion in the first quarter to $125.3 billion in the second quarter, a record 22.8% decline. The value of sales in the second quarter was at its lowest since the third quarter of 2009. In volume terms, manufacturing sales decreased 20.5% in the second quarter, mostly because of lower volumes sold in the transportation equipment (-50.6%) and petroleum and coal product (-28.5%) industries. 

Manufacturers anticipated an 18.5% decrease in capital spending in 2020 (down to $18.1 billion from $22.1 billion) when compared with 2019, as reported in the revised intentions for non-residential capital and repair expenditures release. The decline in capital spending intentions may impact manufacturing capacity utilization in the future, as well as demand for machinery and equipment.

The impact of the pandemic on manufacturing sales

Based on respondent feedback, the largest estimated impacts of the pandemic on manufacturing sales in dollar terms were in the transportation equipment (-$1.1 billion), machinery (-$481 million), fabricated metal product (-$463 million), petroleum and coal product (-$385 million), food (-$319 million), and primary metal (-$260 million) industries. It should be noted that these estimates are on an unadjusted basis. However, they provide a snapshot of the magnitude with which the pandemic may have lowered sales.

Motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts account for more than half of the sales gain in June

Sales in the transportation equipment industry rose for the second consecutive month, more than doubling (+144.3%) to $8.8 billion in June. The largest increases were in the motor vehicle (+281.6%) and motor vehicle parts (+190.3%) industries, as most plants returned to full production following shutdowns earlier in the pandemic. Despite this monthly increase, sales of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts were down by one-quarter (-24.4%) compared with June 2019. 

Sales rose for the second consecutive month in the petroleum and coal product industry, up by almost one-third (+31.5%) to $3.3 billion in June. This increase reflects higher prices and volumes—refineries ramped up production in response to greater fuel demand as provinces across Canada continued to ease physical distancing measures and implement their economic recovery plans in June. Nevertheless, total sales of petroleum and coal products were down by almost half (-46.9%) compared with June 2019.
Sales rose by two-thirds (+66.8%) in the aerospace product and parts industry and by over one-quarter (+27.3%) in the plastics and rubber products industry.

Manufacturing sales also increased in the fabricated metal product (+9.9%), primary metal (+8.4%), wood product (+11.7%) and food (+2.3%) industries.

Sales rise in Ontario and Quebec

Manufacturing sales were up in eight provinces in June, with Ontario and Quebec accounting for 92.4% of the national increase.

Sales in Ontario increased for the second consecutive month, up by more than one-third (+35.8%) to $22.5 billion in June. Sales increased in 18 of 21 industries, led by the motor vehicle (+288.9%), motor vehicle parts (+200.7%), plastics and rubber products (+33.8%), petroleum and coal product (+35.8%), fabricated metal product (+18.5%), and primary metal (+16.3%) industries. 

In Quebec, manufacturing sales were up for the second consecutive month, rising 16.9% to $12.5 billion in June. Sales increased in 19 of 21 industries, led by the transportation equipment, petroleum and coal product, plastics and rubber products, and primary metal industries.

Sales were down in Manitoba (-1.7%) and Prince Edward Island (-7.2%), mainly because of lower sales of durable goods.

Manufacturing sales increase in the census metropolitan areas of Toronto and Montréal

On an unadjusted basis, manufacturing sales rose in 10 of the 12 census metropolitan areas covered by the survey in June, led by Toronto (+37.6%) and Montréal (+32.0%).
In Toronto, the increase in the transportation equipment industry (+197.3%) was mostly attributable to motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts.

In Montréal, higher sales of transportation equipment (+88.5%) and primary metals (+63.3%) drove the growth in June.

Manufacturing sales in Regina were down 14.3%, mostly because of lower seasonal sales in the chemical industry.

Inventory levels decrease

Inventory levels declined for the third consecutive month, decreasing 0.3% to $87.1 billion in June. Inventories were down in 14 of 21 industries, led by the fabricated metal product (-7.4%), primary metal (-4.3%), transportation equipment (-1.4%) and wood product (-4.3%) industries. These decreases were partly offset by a 21.5% increase in petroleum and coal product inventories.

The inventory-to-sales ratio declined from 2.16 in May to 1.79 in June. This ratio measures the time, in months, that would be required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current level.

Unfilled orders decline

Total unfilled orders for the manufacturing sector declined 1.6% to $94.2 billion, the third consecutive monthly decrease. Overall, unfilled orders were down in 8 of 21 industries, with the largest decreases in the transportation equipment and fabricated metal product industries.

This was partially offset by higher unfilled orders in the primary metal, chemical, and plastics and rubber products industries.

New orders rose for the second straight month, up 23.6% to $47.2 billion in June—mostly on higher orders of transportation equipment.

Capacity utilization rate increases

The capacity utilization rate (not seasonally adjusted) for the total manufacturing sector rose from 62.4% in May to 73.3% in June.

The capacity utilization rate for durable goods rose 17.0 percentage points to 70.8%, mostly attributable to higher production at motor vehicle assembly and motor vehicle parts plants after some of these plants were shut down as a result of the pandemic in May. 

The capacity utilization rate for non-durable goods rose 4.2 percentage points to 76.1% in June, partly reflecting ramped up production of plastics and rubber products.
Source: Statistics Canada,

Swati Vora-PatelBy Swati Vora-Patel

The electrical market is at the helm of innovation — from robotics and automation products that support advanced manufacturing to smart technology in homes and businesses, our industry leads innovation and competitiveness in Canada.

With advanced electrical and automation products shaping how we work, live and play, our industry is continually at the forefront of designing technologies that meet the needs of Canadians today.



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David GordonBy David Gordon

Many talk about digitizing the channel and the emerging / present digitalization of the industry and then wonder why eCommerce as a percentage of distributor sales is not higher. One major reason is for many distributors their key customer is a contractor.

Much is being invested into the space. Everything from product content to website development / eCommerce platforms (and CMG is involved in some of this in supporting clients as well as involved with ETIM North America).


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Investment in Building Construction - March 2021Total investment in building construction increased 5.9% to $18.6 billion in March, led by the residential sector. On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction was up 5.2% to $14.3 billion in March.

Residential investment continues to set records

Residential construction investment increased for the eleventh consecutive month, up 7.6% to $14.0 billion in March.



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Michelle BraniganBy Michelle Branigan

A career seeker looking for a job. An HR manager looking to hire. Both are looking to fill a need quickly, effectively and as cost efficiently as possible. The career seeker needs to pay their rent or mortgage, and the HR manager knows the cost to the business of the wrong hire.

This is where the need for a well-written job description comes in. All too often job descriptions are outdated, listing requirements that are no longer valid, or failing to accurately portray a clear description of the role and employer expectations.

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Carolina GalloBy Line Goyette

Among the recipients of the 2021 Clean50 Awards announced last month is Carolina Gallo, Vice President Government and Institutional Relations Canada, for Hitachi ABB Power Grids Canada. CEW reached out to Gallo, about the experience. But first, a little about the Clean50 Awards.

These annual awards recognize Canadian leaders in sustainability for their contributions over the prior two years. 



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Changing Scene

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Liteline has announced the promotion of Evan Sadofsky to Regional Sales Manager for Eastern Canada, ...
Electric Mobility Canada (EMC) and Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) have announced a new ...
Frank Dunnigan, CEO of Techspan Industries Inc., is pleased to announce the appointment of Sean ...
Deschenes Group Inc. (DGI) proudly announces the acquisition of Marcel Baril Ltée (Marcel Baril) ...
Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) represents electrical and automation manufacturers, distributors ...
LEDVANCE LLC, the maker of SYLVANIA general lighting in the US and Canada, announced Charlie Harte ...
Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) once again held its Annual General Meeting virtually this year on ...
It is with great emotion that after 40 years of combined service and leadership of Ideal Supply, ...
Managing change requires a set of soft skills that enables you to harness a growth mindset and the ...
Liteline has announced they will be establishing a Western Canada Regional Office and Distribution ...


Wayne Long and Jim BenderIdeal Supply is proud to announce that as of January 1, 2021 they have appointed a new Sales Manager for both the Electrical and Industrial divisions.

Wayne Long (left) will serve as thier Electrical Division Sales Manager. Wayne spent 11 years with Ideal Supply in the early years of his career, and was with Benshaw Canada for 20 years in senior sales management roles in Canada and the USA before re-joining Ideal in 2017, as thier Industrial Division Sales Manager. Long is a seasoned executive and has a proven track record of building strong relationships with customers and suppliers, and as a coach to sales teams to grow businesses.


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OmnicableOmni Cable located in Brampton, ON, is proud to announce it received IMARK’s 2020 Order of the Golden Maple Leaf Award in its first year eligible for the award.

The Order of the Golden Maple Leaf Award is an annual award that is presented to all IMARK suppliers who meet the set requirements, including supporting members and participating in IMARK Canada’s marketing programs.




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POW-R-Line CS Switchboards by EatonThe Solution to Your Switchboard Needs Now and for the Future.

Introducing Eaton’s Pow-R-Line CS switchboard, the most compact, expandable, service entrance and distribution solution in Canada. This versatile design allows for top or bottom service entrance cables, and expansion sections to the main structure to suit any design requirement.

Eaton’s Pow-R-Line CS switchboard provides a space-saving design advantage with a smaller footprint than any comparable switchboard in the market.


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LitelineLiteline has announced they will be establishing a Western Canada Regional Office and Distribution Center. Currently under construction in Langley, British Columbia, the new facility will service British Columbia to Saskatchewan in Canada, as well as the Pacific Northwest and California in the United States.

"As we lightly refer to the facility as “BC/DC”, the new operation will relieve some load for our 160,000 sq ft HQ in Richmond Hill, Ontario, and our other distribution points in Montreal, QC, and Dallas, TX," said the company via press release. 



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Eaton AR AppAdd or remove switchboard structures according to your construction needs, such as the main incoming with or without Canadian metering requirements, distribution loads, and submain sections. Verify your assembly footprint with thermal magnetic devices such as breakers and fusible switches (with or without meter sockets). Check for clearances and cable landing locations.

No need to guess what configuration will best suit your needs or wonder how the Pow-R-Line CS switchboard will fit in your location.



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Peers & Profiles

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“The ongoing integration of Rexel Utility into our Canadian business platforms has underscored our ...
Marcos Simard was recently appointed Managing Director of WESCO and Anixter EES Montréal ...
As of February 2021, Martin Stephenson is the new President and CEO of Signify Canada. Given that ...
This past December Jennifer Green was honoured with Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Award for ...
Rob Dewar is President of AD Canada as of this past January, when AD announced it had made the ...
Electrimat is an independent Quebec-owned company that has specialized for 40 years in the ...
In July, Eaton announced that Vice President, Channel – Electrical Sector, Matt Cleary would be ...
Mission Technical Solutions is a recently established sales agency founded by industry veteran ...
Omid Nadi, Trade Marketing Manager with Ledvance, is a Ryerson University grad coming out of their ...


Marcos SimardBy Line Goyette

Marcos Simard was recently appointed Managing Director of WESCO and Anixter EES Montréal (Electrical & Electronic Solutions). This young manager, a graduate of the University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières with a degree in business administration and holder of a post-graduate degree from Laval University in Information Technology Management, does not seem destined for a career without unexpected shifts.

Marcos has been with WESCO since 2015. We remember that in 2020, WESCO proposed a merger with Anixter...

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Jeffrey MoyleBy Line Goyette

“The ongoing integration of Rexel Utility into our Canadian business platforms has underscored our responsibility as an organization to find creative solutions for today’s challenges, as well as to prepare for tomorrow’s opportunities.”

This quote from Jeffrey caught my attention. Vice President, Supplier & Digital Strategy at Rexel Canada Electrical Inc., Jeffrey has extensive experience in the industry and is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario with a Master’s in Business Administration, focusing on internarial leadership.

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Copper $US Dollar price per pound

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