Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Sept 16, 2020

CEW manufacturing 400Manufacturing sales increased for the third consecutive month, rising 7.0% to $53.1 billion in July on higher sales of motor vehicle and parts. Nevertheless, manufacturing sales remained 5.4% below February's pre-pandemic levels.

Excluding the transportation industry, manufacturing sales grew 3.3%.

Sales rose in 13 of 21 industries, representing more than two-thirds (68%) of total sales in the manufacturing sector.

Capacity utilization rates rose as many industries continued to ramp up production.

Manufacturing sales in constant dollars increased 6.1%, indicating a higher volume of products sold in July.

Motor vehicles and parts drive the sales growth

Sales in the transportation equipment industry rose by almost one-quarter (+24.1%) to $11.0 billion in July, mainly due to higher sales of motor vehicles and parts. Despite summer shutdowns, motor vehicle sales rose by one-third (+32.9%) to $5.3 billion, following a 282% increase in June. Many auto manufacturers shortened or skipped their summer shutdowns this year. Higher sales may also reflect lower inventories on hand. Sales of motor vehicle parts rose 38.9%, in tandem with the gain in the assembly industry. According to the Retail Trade Survey, motor vehicle and parts sales rose 53.4% in June as dealership closures ended in many regions. The Canadian international merchandise trade survey for July also shows that higher exports of motor vehicles and parts to the United States contributed to the trade gains observed for July.

Petroleum and coal product sales rose 13.0% to $3.7 billion in July on higher prices and volumes. Nevertheless, year-over-year sales were down 39.4%. Constant dollar sales of petroleum products rose 8.9% in July.

Sales in the plastic and rubber product industry increased for the third consecutive month, rising 15.1% in July—partly on increased demand for plastic and rubber auto parts. The capacity utilization rate in this industry stood at 75.9% in July, up from 53.4% in April and 3.9 percentage points above March at the onset of the pandemic.

Food sales declined 1.7% in July, following two consecutive monthly gains. The decline in July was attributable to lower seafood sales following a 28.4% increase in June, when fishing activities reached their peak. The unadjusted decline (-39.3%) in seafood in July was larger than previous years.

In June, the Chinese government enacted new testing measures for live and processed lobster imports before they can enter the country. The new measures disrupted lobster sales in July.

Following two consecutive monthly increases, sales in the primary metal industry declined 1.4% to $3.5 billion in July. Primary metal manufacturing has lagged other industries during the recent recovery, in part due to metal pricing and lower domestic demand. Year-over-year sales were down 15.1% in July. Sales in constant dollars decreased 3.0%.

Sales in Ontario continue to rebound, albeit at a slower pace

Manufacturing sales rose in seven provinces in July, led by higher sales in Ontario and British Columbia.

Sales in Ontario rose by 12.8% to $26.0 billion in July, following a 39.9% increase in June. Higher sales of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts were primarily responsible for the gains. Many auto assembly plants in Ontario shortened their scheduled shutdowns and maintenance and increased capacity, which reduced the inventories that had accumulated during March and April.

British Columbia posted the second largest sales increase in July, with sales up 4.3% to $4.2 billion. Approximately half the gain reflected higher wood product sales (+11.8%). Wood product sales also rose in June (+19.0%), and these gains come amid a substantial rise in housing starts in both Canada and the United States since April. Sales in British Columbia were also up in the transportation equipment, and petroleum and coal product industries.

Manufacturing sales also rose 10.6% in Manitoba, reflecting higher transportation equipment sales. In Alberta, sales were up 3.0% largely as a result of higher petroleum and coal product sales.

Following a 16.4% increase in June, sales in Nova Scotia declined 6.1% to $712 million in July on lower transportation equipment.

Toronto leads the sales growth among selected census metropolitan areas

Manufacturing sales on an unadjusted basis rose in 7 of the 12 selected census metropolitan areas (CMAs) in July, led by Toronto (+1.7%) and Edmonton (+6.4%).

Chemical and food manufacturing drove the gain in Toronto, while in Edmonton the increase was attributable to petroleum and coal products. Sales in Toronto and Edmonton have been rising since April.

Manufacturing sales in Montréal were down 6.5% following two consecutive gains. The decline in July was due to lower sales in the transportation equipment industry and the primary metal industry.

Inventory levels decrease

Total inventories decreased 0.8% to $86.4 billion in July, their lowest level since February 2019. Inventories declined in 15 of 21 industries in July, led by the machinery and the aerospace product and parts industries.

Inventory levels started to decrease in April as production was disrupted at many manufacturing plants due to physical distancing measures. The transportation equipment industry alone has accounted for 45% of the decline in total inventories since the peak in March.

The inventory-to-sales ratio decreased for the third consecutive month, falling from 1.76 in June to 1.63 in July. Nevertheless, the ratio remains above February levels (1.56). 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

Manufacturing unfilled orders decreased for the fourth consecutive month, falling 1.2% to $92.5 billion in July—its lowest level since September 2018. The aerospace product and parts industry (-1.4%) contributed the most to the decrease in unfilled orders in July.

The appreciation of the Canadian dollar relative to the US dollar, combined with the delivery of business aircraft, contributed to the drop in unfilled orders in the aerospace industry over the previous four months.

Unfilled orders were also down in the fabricated metal product (-2.6%) and computer and electronic product (-2.4%) industries.

Unfilled orders of primary metals rose 7.9%.

New orders rose for the third straight month, up 9.0% to $52.0 billion in July, partly on higher new orders of motor vehicles and parts.

Capacity utilization rate increases

The capacity utilization rate (not seasonally adjusted) for the total manufacturing sector rose from 74.3% in June to 74.9% in July. Data from the Labour Force Survey for July reported that employment in the manufacturing sector in Canada gained 29,000 in July, bringing employment to 93.6% of its February level.

Economy EmploymentAs a result of widespread measures taken to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Canadian economy contracted 11.6% in April, following a 7.5% drop in March. By the end of May, many businesses had begun to adapt to the new reality by shifting to teleworking, reducing hours, laying off staff, applying for government funding or seeking rent relief.

As pandemic-related restrictions were gradually lifted throughout the summer, the business climate began to improve slightly. For example, real gross domestic product grew 1.2% in August, the fourth consecutive monthly increase, which continued to offset the steepest drops in Canadian economic activity on record that were observed in March and April. 

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Swati Vora-PatelBy Swati Vora-Patel

“As a distributor, we need to build capabilities around experiences, data and the technologies that are driving change… It’s important that we listen, experiment and help lead our customers forward.” Chief Marketing Officer, Distributor — from the book Innovate to Dominate: The 12th Edition in the Facing the Forces of Change Series

Mapping your company’s digital transformation begins with an outside-in approach. 

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COVID AirBy Angela Jamieson and Marc Laplante

The importance of clean air has been thrust into the spotlight with the emergence of COVID-19 and the rapidly spreading infections related to it. Examples have emerged around the world showing how aerosols may be playing a role in transmission; the choir practise in Washington State where over 80% of their members were infected (primary or secondary)1 after their final practice before shutting down for COVID restrictions, or the restaurant in Guangzhou, China where COVID-19 was theorized to have spread according to the air movement from an air conditioning system2. 

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Carol McGloganBy Carol McGlogan


When it comes to marketing and customers, some things never change, while some things are always evolving! The parts that never change for marketers are that we need to be where our customers are, when they need us, and with the right information. The parts that are in constant flux are our customers’ buying behaviours and the technologies available to intervene and influence the customer experience.

COVID-19 has forced us all into new habits both personally and in business. For instance, social isolation has caused us to rely more heavily on technology to fill in the gaps. 

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Changing Scene

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Schneider Electric announced today the promotion of Adrian Thomas to country ...
The Zigbee Alliance, an organization of hundreds of companies creating, maintaining, and ...
ETIM North America (NA) is pleased to announce that the National Electrical Manufacturers ...
Strong rebound in Q3 2020;Revenue up +1.3% organic - Full Year 2020 targets upgraded...   ...
Power management company Eaton Corporation plc announced that earnings per share were $1.11 for the ...
 We may not be able to celebrate in person this year, but EFC would like to invite you to ...
Since 1945 the Stamm family has proudly owned Powrmatic of Canada. Despite this 75 yearlong history ...
The Stelpro Group, owner of Stelpro, the NorthThe Stelpro Group, owner of Stelpro, the ...
IMARK Canada is pleased to announce that Concord Electric Supply, Concord, ON is a member of IMARK ...
E.B. Horsman & Son is excited to announce EMPOWER, their Employee Share Ownership Plan ...
 

 

Zigbee AllianceThe Zigbee Alliance, an organization of hundreds of companies creating, maintaining, and delivering open, global standards for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced an important movement within the Project Connected Home over IP initiative, forming a team dedicated to the development and promotion of the standard for commercial markets.

This move is in alignment with the overall vision for the initiative, which is to develop and promote the adoption of a new, royalty-free connectivity standard, simplifying development for manufacturers and increasing compatibility for customers and consumers.

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EatonPower management company Eaton Corporation plc announced that earnings per share were $1.11 for the third quarter of 2020. Excluding charges of $0.05 per share related to acquisitions and divestitures and $0.02 per share related to a multi-year restructuring program, adjusted earnings per share were $1.18.

Sales in the third quarter of 2020 were $4.5 billion. Organic sales were down 9 percent, and the divestitures of the Lighting and Automotive Fluid Conveyance businesses reduced sales by 8 percent, partially offset by 2 percent growth from acquisitions.

 

 

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CEW Stelpro flextherm 400The Stelpro Group, owner of Stelpro, is pleased to announce that it has acquired Flextherm, the electric floor heating industry. Flextherm was founded in 1991 by Philippe Charron, who brought a new vision to the market. Sustained work with the standard-setting bodies made it possible to revolutionize the industry by certifying heating cable installations directly on plywood, making the technology accessible to a greater number of people.

Many other innovations, including a complete range of heating cable products and controls and focus on quality and service helped build a strong brand over the years and raised the company to the enviable status it has today. 

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Adrian Thomas and Annette ClaytonSchneider Electric announced today the promotion of Adrian Thomas to country president, Canada, effective January 1, 2021. Mr. Thomas succeeds Susan Uthayakumar, who held the role of country president for the past three years. Mr. Thomas will report to North American CEO & President, Annette Clayton.

Susan Uthayakumar, has been appointed as the global leader for Schneider Electric's Sustainability Business Division, reporting to Chief Strategy & Sustainability Officer, Olivier Blum. 

 

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EFC 2020 Industry Awards

EFC 2020 Industry AwardsWe may not be able to celebrate in person this year, but EFC would like to invite you to their premier Industry Awards in a new and exciting virtual format. 

This year’s Electro-Federation Canada's 2020 Industry Awards will recognize member recipients through a virtual presentation honouring their strong leadership and commitment to contributing to the health of the industry. EFC's National Advisory Council chairman, Steve Branscombe, Independent Electric Supply, will emcee the Awards on Thursday, December 10th, 2020 at 4:30 pm EST.

 

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Peers & Profiles

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Headquartered in Concord, Ontario, Mercury Lighting services national retail, ...
“Never forget to look at the big picture.” These words of advice are from the father of Jason ...
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Mission Technical Solutions is a recently established sales agency founded by industry veteran ...

ElectrimatElectrimat is an independent Quebec-owned company that has specialized for 40 years in the distribution of electrical and lighting products. The company is headquartered in Brossard, Quebec and has four branches on the south shore and north shore of Montreal and Montérégie. It serves the industrial, commercial, institutional, residential, and public service sectors.

Christian Grenier and Mathieu Legris have been leading Electrimat for 10 years. Two friends in life who complement each other at work, and whose company regularly finds itself in the business sections of daily newspapers highlighting their exceptional performance. 

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MercuryBy Blake Marchand

Headquartered in Concord, Ontario, Mercury Lighting services national retail, multi-residential/commercial property management, energy service companies (ESCO), and auto dealerships.

“From design to specifications, we offer turn-key services that go beyond the typical distributor model,” explained Mercury Lighting Vice President, Eric Tordjman. Their value-added approach leverages well-established supplier relations to help clients find a lighting solution that suits their needs.

 

 

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Jason PrevostBy Line Goyette

“Never forget to look at the big picture.” These words of advice are from the father of Jason Prevost, his first mentor, who worked as a marketing specialist. Jason has repeated them often over the past two years during what might have been the hardest personal crisis of his life.

At a time when he was forced to reassess his professional future, his wife and the mother of his two teenage children was diagnosed with a virulent cancer.

 

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