If you want to see how agriculture continues to impact the provincial economy, take a look at the latest manufacturing numbers.
Now those two market segments are not supposed to be related: Ag is about commodity production, while manufacturing is value-added. But StatsCan says not so fast. The two segments are linked.
When the June manufacturing results were unveiled, Saskatchewan was in an unusual space – we were showing a big decline. This comes after months of strong results, often leading the country in terms of percentage gains. But in June we fell 11 per cent. That was the largest month-over-month decline in this report. Despite that, Saskatchewan still posted one of the best years among all the provinces with overall growth of nearly 14 per cent in the past 12 months.
In their narrative on the monthly report, StatsCan said Saskatchewan’s decline – after months of increases – was the result of lower sales of farm chemicals and fertilizers. Perhaps this is not surprising given that production of those items was done earlier for use in this crop year. Nonetheless, it is a reminder that agriculture is big business in this province even beyond primary production.