In September, wholesale sales rose 0.1% to $81.8 billion in Canada, with the largest increases coming from personal and household goods and food, beverage and tobacco. Sales rose in five of seven subsectors, which accounts for 70.2% of wholesale sales, reported Statistics Canada.
“Sales in the food, beverage and tobacco subsector rose 1.9% to $14.9 billion in September, mainly due to higher sales in the food industry (+2.3% to $13.3 billion). This subsector reported an increase for the third consecutive month, reaching a record-high sales level. Overall, as reported by the Consumer Price Index, prices for groceries rose at the fastest pace since 1981, as the supply of food continues to be impacted by supply chain disruptions, geopolitical tensions, extreme weather, and higher input costs.
“Following a robust August, the miscellaneous subsector posted the largest drop since April 2020, with sales falling 5.8% to $12.3 billion in September 2022. Sales in three of the five component industries fell, with a substantial decrease in the agricultural supplies industry (-13.4% to $4.7 billion). Agricultural supply wholesalers reported completion of contracts by the beginning of fall in preparation of their year-end, which is reflected in the steady climb of sales since May 2022.
“Overall, sales in the third quarter of 2022 rose 1.2% to $243.8 billion, a 13.1% increase from the same quarter in 2021. This was the fourth consecutive quarterly increase, with the largest increases coming from the machinery, equipment and supplies, and miscellaneous goods subsectors. In contrast, the largest quarterly decreases came from the building material and supplies and the personal and household goods subsectors. This was the second consecutive quarterly decline for both of these subsectors.”
The report said inventories rose 1.2% to $125 billion, the eighth consecutive monthly increase. Six of the seven subsectors reported increased inventories, led by the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector and by the miscellaneous subsector. Building material and supplies was the only subsector with a decrease in inventories.
The inventory-to-sales ratio increased from 1.52 in August to 1.53 in September. This ratio is a measure of the time (in months) required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current levels, added the federal agency.
(Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran of the media industry for more than 40 years and named in 2021 a Top Ten Business Journalist in the world and only Canadian)
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