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Made in Alberta: Manufacturing by subsector

Made in Alberta: Manufacturing by subsector

Posted on: 12/14/2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

Most Albertans are aware that we extract oil and natural gas, grow crops such as wheat and canola, raise cattle and harvest trees. These forms of economic activity are visible to anyone who has driven down Highways 1 and 2. But have you ever wondered what we manufacture here?

Even though Alberta’s manufacturers produce a wide range of products, about 80 per cent of what we make here is linked to our bounty of natural resources. Food products, products derived from oil and gas and lumber products are prime examples.

Also, a large amount of the machinery, fabricated metal products and primary metals made in Alberta are purchased by the natural resource sector. As a result, our manufacturing sector tends to follow the fortunes of the energy patch and is also sensitive to agricultural developments in the province.

Food products is the largest category of goods manufactured in Alberta at 14.7 per cent of the manufacturing sector’s share of real GDP in 2016. If beverages are added, the combined category accounts for 17.5 per cent of the manufacturing sector’s output.

Chemicals is the second largest product line at 13.9 per cent of the sector’s real GDP. This category includes numerous goods made from petroleum such as butane, ethane, ethylene, ethylene glycol, vinyl chloride, synthetic rubber and polyethylene and polystyrene resins. Chemical fertilizer is also in this category.

Fabricated metals sits in third spot on the list at 13.3 per cent and includes products such as valves, joists, metal buildings, sheet metal, oil and gas storage tanks, boilers, rebar, nuts and bolts.

Want to learn more about Alberta’s manufacturing sector? Check out the new edition of Perch released today.

Alberta's manufacturing GDP by subsector, graph

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