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Industrial product prices steady in April

Industrial product prices in Canada were unchanged overall in April as expected, as more expensive gasoline and chemical products were offset by a decline in primary metal product prices, according to Statistics Canada on Wednesday.

However, a 2.6 percent drop in crude oil prices in the month was mainly responsible for a 2.0 percent decline in raw material prices, the third straight monthly decrease. Excluding mineral fuels, raw material prices fell 1.3 percent.

The median forecasts in a Reuters survey of analysts were for no change in industrial product prices and a 1.9 percent fall in raw material prices.

The industrial prices reflect the prices producers receive as their goods leave the plant gate. Gasoline rose 2.7 percent, and excluding oil and coal products, industrial prices fell 0.1 percent.

On a 12-month basis, industrial product prices were up 0.4 percent while raw materials were down 13.6 percent. The size of the year-on-year drop in the raw material index was "partly because it had reached an exceptionally high level a year earlier," Statistics Canada said. Crude was 21.8 percent cheaper than a year earlier.

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