July 17, 2012 / 12:42 PM / in 5 years

Refinery shutdowns pull down Canada manufacturing sales

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian manufacturing sales unexpectedly dropped by 0.4 percent in May, posting their fourth month-on-month decline in five months on temporary shutdowns at some refineries, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday.

Analysts had predicted a 0.6 percent increase over April. Statscan revised April's drop to 1.1 percent from an initial 0.8 percent.

Sales in May fell in 13 of 21 industries, representing approximately two-thirds of manufacturing. Constant dollar sales increased by 0.2 percent, reflecting a rise in the volume of durable goods sold.

Sales in the petroleum and coal product industry dropped by 9.6 percent, reflecting the refinery closures and lower prices.

Excluding the industry, total manufacturing sales rose by 1.2 percent on stronger performance by the aerospace product and parts industry.

Inventories advanced by 2.1 percent in May to their highest level since January 2009, almost entirely as a result of a sharp increase in the petroleum and coal product industry. The inventory-to-sales ratio climbed to 1.35 from 1.32 in April.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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