Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Jan 19, 2021

Wholesale Sales - November 2020Wholesale sales grew for the seventh consecutive month in November — up 0.7% to an all-time high of $67.4 billion. Five of seven subsectors reported stronger sales, led by the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector and the building material and supplies subsector. Notably, the increase reflects higher domestic sales of Canadian goods, as both imports and exports of key commodities fell in November.

Wholesale trade volumes increased 0.9% in November.

Wholesale sector continues to show strength


The demand for wholesale goods largely held firm through November as sales grew for the seventh consecutive month. This occurred notwithstanding the fact that some restrictions on business activities started to be tightened in some provinces in November in response to the second wave of COVID-19. However, for the most part, significant restrictions did not come into effect until December.

November sales were 4.4% higher than the pre-pandemic level recorded in February 2020, with six of the seven subsectors' sales higher than pre-COVID-19 levels. Additionally, all subsectors posted sales in November 2020 that were higher than in November 2019, as was the case for October 2020 compared with October 2019.

The performance of the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector, as well as the building material and supplies subsector, has been the foundation of the recovery in the wholesale sector since the spring. This may be in part because the products sold by companies in these subsectors (e.g., computers and electronics, smart phones, home renovation materials, large machinery) are tied closely to activities and businesses that have been allowed to continue or have been in high demand during the pandemic.

At $1.3 billion above February 2020 levels, sales in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector have surpassed pre-COVID-19 levels by more than any other subsector, followed by the building material and supplies subsector at $1.1 billion above pre-COVID-19 levels. As has been the case throughout the pandemic, the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector remains the furthest behind, and the only subsector whose November sales were not higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Sales rise in five subsectors

Five of the seven wholesale subsectors reported higher sales in November, representing more than 80% of the sector. The increases came despite weaker imports and exports of key products.

Sales of machinery, equipment and supplies rose 2.8% to $14.3 billion. This was the fourth increase in the past six months, bringing total sales to their highest level on record. Three of the four industries in the subsector reported gains. Higher sales in this subsector reflect greater domestic sales as exports of industrial machinery, equipment and parts fell 0.7% in November.
Sales of building material and supplies rose 1.1% to $10.2 billion, the sixth increase in the past seven months, reaching a record high in November. The increase reflects primarily higher sales in the lumber, millwork, hardware and other building supplies industry, which makes up more than half of the subsector. It appears that this increase was also driven by stronger domestic sales as exports of lumber and other sawmill products fell approximately 10% in November.

Sales of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts and accessories fell 1.8% to $11.1 billion—the first decline after six months of gains. Despite the decline, sales were 5.6% higher than in November of 2019. As in the other subsectors, the domestic market was a source of the higher sales of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts and accessories as exports fell 4.1% in November.

Higher sales in nine provinces

Sales increased in nine provinces in November, accounting for more than 98% of total wholesale sales. Alberta, Ontario and Quebec led the gains, while Nova Scotia was the only province that posted a slight decrease for the month.

Alberta sales rose 2.1% to $6.6 billion—its second straight month of growth. Higher sales were recorded in four of the seven subsectors, led by a 7.7% increase in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector. After three months of declining sales, the subsector posted its second consecutive month of gains, with increases in all industries.

Sales in Ontario continued to rise in November, up 0.2% to $35.0 billion—the third consecutive increase and the sixth in the past seven months. The building material and supplies subsector and the miscellaneous subsector led the gains for Ontario, more than offsetting the lower sales in the other five subsectors. The building material and supplies subsector posted higher sales across all three of its industries for the second month in a row. The motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector mitigated the increase in Ontario.

Quebec sales increased 0.6% to $12.6 billion in November. Higher sales were recorded in five of the seven subsectors. The personal and household goods subsector rose 2.8% to $2.7 billion, led by strong growth in the pharmaceuticals and pharmacy supplies industry in November. The building material and supplies subsector (+1.3% to $2.0 billion) built off the strength in the metal service centres industry and the lumber, millwork, hardware and other building supplies industry. Conversely, a decrease of 2.2% to $1.3 billion in the miscellaneous subsector was headed by weak sales in the chemical (except agricultural) and allied products industry and the recyclable material industry.

Nova Scotia was the only province to post a decline in November, as sales fell 0.6% to $927 million. The food, beverage and tobacco subsector (-4.8% to $302 million) posted the largest decline in the province, reflecting a sharp decline in the sale of fish and seafood products. 

Inventories fall for a second month

Wholesale inventories fell for the second month in a row. November inventories decreased 0.6% to $89.6 billion—its lowest level since March 2019.

Lower inventories were reported in all seven subsectors in November. The machinery, equipment and supplies subsector posted the largest decreases—down 1.1% to $26.6 billion.
Decreases in the inventory of the construction, forestry, mining, and industrial machinery, equipment and supplies industry more than offset the gains in the three other industries within the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector.

The personal and household goods subsector's inventories fell 0.6% to $15.9 billion in November. The home furnishings industry and the toiletries, cosmetics and sundries industry led the decreases in inventories for this subsector.

The inventory-to-sales ratio fell for the second straight month to 1.33 for November—the lowest level since May 2018. This ratio is a measure of the time (in months) required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current level.

Source: Statistics Canada, www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/210119/dq210119a-eng.htm

Carol McGloganBy Carol McGlogan

EFC kicked off 2021 with an outstanding webinar featuring Janice Gross Stein, renowned Canadian political scientist, founder of the Munk School of Global Affairs and recipient of the Order of Canada. Ms. Stein has spoken at previous EFC conferences, earning many accolades, and this session was no different as we learned what to look for as the Biden Administration takes hold of the White House.

Our close economic ties to the U.S. means that Canadians must “keep up with the Administrations” to survive. Janice focused her discussions on industrial policy and climate change within an active intervening government.

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Canadian Business Counts - December 2020The COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter the business landscape. Some businesses have closed permanently, some have grown and others have been temporarily closing or reopening. In October, for example, the number of business openings (41,910) exceeded the number of business closures (32,420) for the fourth consecutive month.

As a result, the number of active businesses in October edged up 0.6%. Despite the slight increase, the number of active businesses was down 6.7% from February 2020.*

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David GordonBy David Gordon

Gene Biben, formerly President and CEO of Biben Sales, joined Channel Marketing Group earlier this month. Gene’s avowed desire is to “give back” to the industry, to help people work together. He will help reps achieve their goals and manufacturers optimize their performance, and relationship, to and with manufacturer reps. He’ll additionally support Channel Marketing Group clients’ research needs.

While Gene is well known by many manufacturers, we thought it would be interesting to ask him to consider changes he has seen over the years.

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Darci SpiteriBy Darci Spiteri 

This past month marked one year since stepping onto a job site and starting my electrical apprenticeship. Little did I know 2020 would throw in some curveballs, but it was a pretty fantastic year for self-development when I sit back and reflect. 

Enter Pandemic, worldwide lockdowns, and my Jobsite shutting down for a month. Losing hours was a downside and with my apprenticeship being based on the number of hours worked, moving onto my second year will take a little extra time. 

 

 

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Changing Scene

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Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) announced the recipients of their Awards of Excellence ...
Guillevin International has announced the creation of a new division, Guillevin Datacom, ...
Website visitors to the freshly designed IMARK Group website will learn about all of the benefits ...
WESCO International, Inc. has announced its results for the fourth quarter and full year ...
Deschenes Group Inc. (DGI) has acquired Daltco Electric effective February 1st, 2021.   ...
With 28 years of commitment to Canadian independent distributors, and as a sign of its focus on ...
Rexel announced it has acquired the Canadian Utility business of WESCO International (WESCO Canada ...
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Signify Canada has announced David Grinstead, Market Leader, Canada, Signify will retire at the end ...
Bartle & Gibson has announced that Greg Stephenson has officially joined the ...
 

 

Seth Cook and Kerith RichardsService Wire Co. promotes Kerith Richards to Regional Sales Manager – Canada and expands Seth Cook’s sales territory to better serve the commercial and industrial markets.

Kerith Richards will serve as Regional Sales Manager based out of Service Wire’s corporate headquarters, where she will be responsible for commercial and industrial sales in all provinces. In addition, Richards will continue her role as Sales Representative for Saskatoon, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador. 

 

 

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Guillevin International Acquires Wesco's Canadian Datacom BusinessGuillevin International has announced the creation of a new division, Guillevin Datacom, which will be dedicated exclusively to various network infrastructure products. To support this new division and ensure its success, Guillevin acquires the Canadian Datacom business of WESCO International, whose team will join Guillevin's Canadian operations.

"We have targeted the WESCO business to launch our Datacom division because of the team's agility, expertise and in-depth knowledge of products from the industry's leading suppliers", said Luc Rodier, Guillevin's President and CEO. 

 

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IMARKWebsite visitors to the freshly designed IMARK Group website will learn about all of the benefits that accrue to members and suppliers in all IMARK divisions (Electrical.

HVACR, and Plumbing/Irrigation) as well as Luxury Products Group which supports decorative showrooms and IM Supply which is a national account sales solution for IMARK Group members. The website features videos from group leadership as well as an introductory video on the home page.

 

 

 

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Peers & Profiles

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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 ...

EHRC Leader of the Year Stephanie SmithBy Blake Marchand

“It was quite surprising,” said Stephanie Smith of being named EHRC’s Leader of the Year. “Leadership in 2020 has certainly been a challenge for everybody in the world let alone the nuclear industry or the electricity industry.”

An engineer by trade, Smith spent the majority of her career with Ontario Power Generation (OPG). She was the first woman to be certified by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station where she served as Plant Manager and was recently named the first President and CEO of CANDU Owners Group. Smith is also a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion.

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