Canada December producer prices unchanged, raw materials fall

Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:49am EST
 
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian industrial product prices were unchanged in December from November, partly because of a stronger Canadian dollar, while cheaper crude oil helped push raw materials prices down by 2.0 percent, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

The industrial prices matched analysts' predictions in a Reuters survey, though the median forecast for raw materials was for a 0.2 percent rise from November.

Excluding an appreciation of 0.7 percent in the Canadian dollar in December, industrial prices would have risen 0.2 percent. Some exporters price their products in U.S. dollars, so when the U.S. dollar falls, the corresponding prices in Canadian dollars drop, too.

Primary metal and lumber products rose while motor vehicles prices fell, largely because of the stronger currency.

On the raw materials side, Statscan said the decrease was almost entirely attributable to lower mineral fuel prices, specifically crude oil, which fell 5.9 percent. Excluding mineral fuels, the index rose by 0.9 percent.

(Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Alex Paterson and Bernadette Baum)