OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian wholesale trade dipped for the first time in five months in June, slipping 0.1 percent from May on lower sales of agricultural supplies, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday.
Market analysts had expected a 0.1 percent rise after four consecutive monthly increases. In volume terms, wholesale sales were down 0.5 percent.
Statscan said the drop could largely be explained by a 20.5 percent fall in sales by the agricultural supplies industry, which is part of the miscellaneous subsector. Excluding this subsector, wholesale sales rose by 0.9 percent from May.
Five of the seven subsectors, accounting for about 70 percent of wholesale sales, reported advances in June. The motor vehicle and parts subsector was up by 2.2 percent while sales of machinery, equipment and supplies grew by 1.3 percent.
Inventories increased by 0.4 percent while the ratio of inventory to sales rose to 1.21 from 1.20 in May. Wholesale sales were 6.3 percent higher than in June 2011, down from the revised 6.8 percent year-on-year increase recorded in May.
Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama