Petroleum and coal manufacturing: An industry shaken by a global pandemic, 2020

Release date: April 27, 2021
Infographic: Petroleum and coal manufacturing: An industry shaken by a global pandemic, 2020
Description: Petroleum and coal manufacturing: An industry shaken by a global pandemic, 2020

Petroleum and coal manufacturing: An industry shaken by a global pandemic, 2020

With the COVID-19 pandemic cutting global demand, sales of petroleum products decreased by 37.4% to $46.1 billion in 2020.

The current dollar value of sales of petroleum and coal products hit the lowest level on record since 2004.

Sales of petroleum and coal experienced a record-breaking decline in April 2020, making it one of the hardest-hit industries, second only to transportation equipment.


Monthly sales in the petroleum and coal industry, 2020
Table summary
This table displays the results of Monthly sales in the petroleum and coal industry. The information is grouped by Month (appearing as row headers), Sales of goods manufactured, seasonally adjusted, millions of dollars and Month-over-month change (%) (appearing as column headers).
Month Sales of goods manufactured, seasonally adjusted, millions of dollars Month-over-month change (%)
January $5,708.80 N/A
February (pre-pandemic) $5,520.60 -3.3%
March $3,689.60 -33.2%
April (record-breaking decline)Note 1 $1,963.50 -46.8%
May $2,465.00 +25.5%
June $3,300.10 +33.9%
July $3,817.00 +15.7%
August $3,784.10 -0.9%
September $3,783.50 0.0%
October $3,861.40 +2.1%
November $4,029.80 +4.4%
December $4,218.60 +4.7%
  • With the sudden drop in sales in April 2020, the inventory-to-sales ratio was more than double the pre-pandemic average.
  • By the end of 2020, manufacturers reduced their petroleum and coal product inventories by nearly a quarter.

Annual sales of refinery products fell in 2020:

  • Eastern provinces: -37.9%
  • Western provinces: -36.4%

The pandemic impacted eastern refineries, which account for more than 60% of total production, more than western refineries.

Note: "Eastern provinces" refers to Ontario and all provinces eastward. "Western provinces" refers to Manitoba and all provinces westward.

Source: Statistics Canada, Monthly Survey of Manufacturing.

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