Index slid 4.6 per cent to close 2012, reflecting drop of 14.6 per cent in oil and gas in December
TORONTO—Scotiabank is blaming “a sharp drop in the oil and gas index” after its Commodity Price Index saw a month-over-month decline of close to five per cent in December.
According to the financial firm, the index slid by 4.6 per cent to close 2012, reflecting a month-over-month drop of 14.6 per cent in oil and gas in December.
“Western Canadian Select (WCS) heavy crude oil led the decline, plunging from $72.47 to a mere $57.84 per barrel in December,” Scotiabank’s vice-president of economics and commodity market specialist Patricia Mohr said in a statement.
“While West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil prices edged up to $88.25 last month, the WCS discount off WTI ballooned to $30.41 and will climb further to $32.84 in January and $36.94 in February.”
There were bright spots in other sub-indices, according to Scotiabank, with agricultural products (up 0.8 per cent), metals and minerals (up 1.7 per cent) and forest products (up 3.2 per cent) all posting gains in December compared to the previous month.
Widespread gains in base metals and iron ore and steady uranium prices offset weaker gold, potash and sulphur prices, helping to post the decent gain in the metals index.
The forest products index posted the strongest gains in December due in part by Western Spruce-Pine-Fir 2×4 No. 2 and Btr lumber prices.
According to Scotiabank, prices per thousand feet board measure (mfbm) jumped to $370 in December.