OTTAWA - The value of Canadian wholesale trade fell by 0.5 per cent in June after eight consecutive monthly increases, largely pulled down by lower sales of food and motor vehicles, Statistics Canada said on Monday.

The decrease was greater than the 0.2 per cent drop forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll. Five of the seven subsectors posted declines.

In volume terms, sales edged down by 0.7 per cent.

The food, beverage and tobacco subsector fell by 1.0 per cent, while motor vehicles and parts dealers also saw trade slip by 1.0 per cent.

Sales in the western energy-producing province of Alberta, still coming to grips with a prolonged period of low oil prices, declined 3.7 per cent, the first decrease in nine months.

Inventories posted their 10th gain in 11 months, rising 0.6 per cent to reach a record high on the back of a 3.2 per cent increase in the personal and household goods subsector.