Canada producer prices flat, raw materials jump

Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:40am EST
 
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Ottawa (Reuters) - Canadian industrial product prices were unchanged for the second straight month in January from December, as lower prices for chemical products offset gains in fuel oil, gasoline and other categories, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

Raw materials prices jumped 3.8 percent in the month, the largest gain since November 2011, making up for the 2 percent drop in December.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters had forecast, on average, a monthly price gain of 0.2 percent for industrial products and of 1.5 percent for raw materials.

Of the 21 major industrial product groups, 10 registered higher prices, eight saw price drops and three were unchanged.

Chemical products posted the largest decline, down 1.4 percent while petroleum and coal products posted the biggest increase at 0.7 percent.

Compared with a year earlier, the producer price index was down 0.2 percent, Statscan said.

On the raw materials side, the outsized increase was due mainly to price hikes for mineral fuels, mainly crude oil. However, raw materials prices were down 4.7 percent compared with January 2012.

(Reporting by Louise Egan and Alex Paterson; Editing by Nick Zieminski)