Mining resources

Prices for both industrial products and raw materials prices rose in March, according to Statistics Canada.

The national statistical agency reported that its Raw Materials Price Index, which tracks the price of manufacturers’ inputs, jumped by 4.7% last month, driven by higher energy prices.

StatsCan said crude energy prices rose by 8.1% in March, noting the higher prices “were partly influenced by several OPEC+ countries extending voluntary output cuts of 2.2 million barrels per day until the end of June to stabilize the oil market.”

Other factors included recent attacks on major Russian refineries by Ukraine, as well as the conflict in the Middle East.

Metals prices also were up in March, along with prices for certain agricultural products.

The monthly increase in raw materials prices was the largest gain since March 2022, StatsCan reported.

And, on an annual basis, the index was up 0.8% in March, the first year-over-year increase since September 2023.

StatsCan also reported the price of domestically manufactured products, as measured by the Industrial Product Price Index, were up 0.8% in March, which was softer than the 1.1% monthly gain in February.

Metals prices rose by 4.9% in the month, marking its first increase after three straight monthly declines. “Precious metals rallied amid expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will make several interest rate cuts in 2024,” StatsCan said.

Lumber and food prices were also up in March, it noted.

On an annual basis however, the industrial price index was down by 0.5% in March. “This marks the sixth straight year-over-year decrease,” StatsCan said.