Ottawa | Reuters — Canadian producer prices unexpectedly fell in August as meat and dairy products saw the largest decrease in nearly nine years, while lower prices for energy and petroleum products also weighed, data from Statistics Canada showed on Friday.
The 0.5 per cent decline in producer prices fell well short of analysts’ expectations for an increase of 0.1 per cent.
The decline was mainly attributable to a 2.3 per cent drop in prices for meat, fish and dairy products, the category’s largest decline since October 2007. Lower prices for fresh and frozen pork, beef and veal drove the decrease.
The lower prices coincided with a 25.5 per cent annual drop in the price of cattle and calves in August, the statistics agency said.
Prices for energy and petroleum products declined 1.3 per cent. Excluding the category, overall producer prices were down just 0.3 per cent.
Raw materials prices also declined 0.7 per cent, though the pace was not as steep as July’s 2.7 per cent decrease. Of the index’s six major commodity groups, five were lower.
— Reporting for Reuters by Leah Schnurr.