According to Statistics Canada, prices for products manufactured in Canada, as measured by the Industrial Product Price Index (IPPI), were up 1.5 percent in December, led by higher prices for energy and petroleum products, and lumber and other wood products. Prices of raw materials purchased by manufacturers operating in Canada, as measured by the Raw Materials Price Index (RMPI), rose 3.5 percent, driven upward by higher prices for crude energy products.
The IPPI rose 1.5 percent in December, following a 0.5 percent decrease in November. This was the strongest monthly gain since November 2017 (+1.6 percent). Of the 21 major commodity groups, 11 were up and 10 were down.
Year over year, the IPPI was up 1.8 percent, mainly led by higher prices for softwood lumber (+78.8 percent) and unwrought gold, silver, and platinum group metals, and their alloys (+33.1 percent). This gain was mainly dampened by lower prices for refined petroleum energy products (-23.2 percent).
The RMPI (+3.5 percent) rose for a third straight month in December, after increasing 0.6 percent in November. Of the six major commodity groups, five were up and one was down.
Prices for metal ores, concentrates and scraps (+1.0 percent) and crop products (+1.6 percent) also contributed to the increase in the RMPI, but to a lesser extent. A sharp increase in iron ore and concentrate prices (+22.4 percent) was the driving factor behind the gain in metal ores, concentrates and scrap. Prices for waste and scrap of metal (+3.6 percent) and copper ores and concentrates (+9.2 percent) were also higher than in November.
Year over year, the RMPI fell 0.7 percent, mainly as a result of lower prices for conventional crude oil (-24.7 percent). However, this drop was mostly tempered by higher prices for gold, silver, and platinum group metal ores and concentrates (+26.3 percent).