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Economic Survey of Manufacturing: September 2013 quarter
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  09 December 2013
Commentary

All references to sales movements are seasonally adjusted unless otherwise stated.

See data quality for more information about seasonal adjustment. 

Manufacturing sales volume rises

The volume of manufacturing sales rose 0.5 percent in the September 2013 quarter, after a 3.5 percent fall in the June 2013 quarter. This rise was despite a fall in meat and dairy product manufacturing (down 2.7 percent), with most other industries recording rises. Other main volume movements this quarter were:

  • metal product manufacturing, up 6.6 percent
  • petroleum and coal product manufacturing (not seasonally adjusted), up 8.0 percent. 

The trend for the manufacturing sales volume, which gives a longer-term picture of movements, has fallen this year, after rising during 2012.

Volumes are calculated by removing the effect of price changes from sales values.

 Graph, Total manufacturing sales, constant dollars, quarterly, September 2006 to September 2013.

In current prices, the value of manufacturing sales rose 4.7 percent ($1.1 billion) in the September 2013 quarter, after a 1.2 percent fall in the June 2013 quarter. Meat and dairy product manufacturing, up 12 percent ($768 million), drove the increase. Prices for dairy product manufacturing outputs increased significantly during the September 2013 quarter. Other main value movements for this quarter were:

  • metal product manufacturing, up 5.9 percent ($129 million) 
  • petroleum and coal product manufacturing, up 5.6 percent ($103 million). 

Graph, Changes in seasonally adjusted manufacturing sales, current and constant dollars, June 2013 quarter to September 2013 quarter.    

The volume of finished goods stocks (which is not seasonally adjusted) is 6.7 percent higher than in the September 2012 quarter. This rise is mainly due to an increase in the volume of meat and dairy product manufacturing stocks (up 13 percent).

 Graph, Changes in manufacturing stocks, current and constant dollars, September 2012 quarter to September 2013 quarter.

Excluding meat and dairy products, manufacturing volume rises

The volume of sales, excluding meat and dairy product manufacturing, rose 2.8 percent in the September 2013 quarter, the largest rise since June 2002. This follows a rise of  0.5 percent in the June 2013 quarter. The latest increase was broad-based, with 10 of the 12 industries that make up this group recording increases. The main movements this quarter were:

  • metal product manufacturing, up 6.6 percent
  • petroleum and coal product manufacturing, up 8.0 percent.

In current prices, the sales value rose 3.2 percent ($501 million) in the September 2013 quarter. Eleven of the 12 industries rose.

Graph, Manufacturing sales excluding meat and dairy product manufacturing sales, constant dollars, quarterly, September 2006 to September 2013.

The trend for the sales volume has been relatively flat for the last four years, but has risen in recent quarters.

The volume of finished goods stocks (which is not seasonally adjusted) is 2.8 percent higher than in the September 2012 quarter.

Meat and dairy product manufacturing volume falls, but value rises

The volume of sales for the meat and dairy product manufacturing industry fell 2.7 percent in the September 2013 quarter. This follows a large fall of 11 percent in the June 2013 quarter.

This latest fall reflects decreases in the volume of meat and dairy products exported as reported in Overseas Trade Indexes (Volumes): September 2013 quarter (provisional), where dairy exports fell 2.7 percent and meat exports fell 0.9 percent.

While sales volumes fell, meat and dairy manufacturing stocks are very high for the end of a September quarter. The volume of finished goods stocks (which is not seasonally adjusted) is 13 percent higher than in the September 2012 quarter, and is at the highest-ever level for a September quarter.

The trend indicates that the volume of meat and dairy product manufacturing sales is falling, after rising throughout 2012.

 Graph, Meat and dairy product manufacturing sales, constant dollars, quarterly, September 2006 to September 2013.

The value of sales rose strongly, up 12 percent ($768 million), after a fall of 4.7 percent in the June 2013 quarter.

Prices rose across the industry during the quarter. Producers Price Index: September 2013 quarter reported a 14 percent increase in prices for dairy product manufacturing outputs. Meat product manufacturing output prices rose 5.0 percent.

Note: Volumes data for the meat and dairy manufacturing industry has been revised for the June 2010 to June 2013 quarters inclusive. See revisions for more information.

 

Metal product manufacturing volume rises

The volume of sales for the metal product manufacturing industry rose 6.6 percent in the September 2013 quarter. This increase follows a 0.8 percent rise in the June 2013 quarter. The recent growth has been in fabricated metal product manufacturing, which includes some construction-related manufacturing products such as structural steel, architectural aluminium, and metal roofing products.

The sales value also rose, up 5.9 percent ($129 million).  

The trend for the sales volume had been falling since a high point in March 2012, but now appears to be rising.

 Graph, Metal product manufacturing sales, constant dollars, quarterly, September 2006 to September 2013.

The volume of finished goods stocks (which is not seasonally adjusted) is 7.9 percent lower than in the September 2012 quarter.

Construction-related industries on the rise

Two other industries supporting the construction sector had sales volume increases in the September 2013 quarter. Wood and paper product manufacturing rose 2.3 percent, while non-metallic mineral product manufacturing (which includes glass, cement, and concrete product manufacturing) rose 6.1 percent.

Domestic construction has been increasing over the last two years, with the trend for the volume of building activity 22 percent higher than in September 2011 as reported in Value of Building Work Put in Place: September 2013 quarter

Sales values in both industries also rose, with wood and paper product manufacturing up 3.2 percent ($58 million), and non-metallic mineral product manufacturing up 6.3 percent ($43 million).

Graph, Wood and paper product manufacturing sales, constant dollars, quarterly, September 2006 to September 2013.  

The trend for the sales volume in wood and paper product manufacturing has increased this year after falling during 2012. The trend for the sales volume in non-metallic mineral product manufacturing has mostly increased over the last two years, up 15 percent since a low point in December 2011.

Graph, Non-metallic mineral product manufacturing sales, constant dollars, quarterly, September 2006 to September 2013.  

The volume of finished goods stocks (which is not seasonally adjusted) is around 8 percent higher in both industries than in the September 2012 quarter.

For more detailed data see the Excel tables in the ‘Downloads’ box. 

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