The rising Canadian dollar knocked down the value of Canadian manufacturing shipments by 0.9 percent in September to their lowest since October 2006, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

The weakness was broad-based, with the biggest losses in computer and electronic sales and wood products. Leading the gains was the transportation equipment sector, including automakers who saw sales rebound after heavy losses in August.

The downturn for manufacturers was sharper than the median forecast of a 0.5 percent drop in sales by analysts in a Reuters survey.

Excluding autos, sales fell 2.7 percent, the biggest decline since September of last year.

The Canadian dollar appreciated 3.1 percent against its U.S. counterpart in September compared with August, hitting parity on Sept. 20. In constant dollars, manufacturing sales inched up 0.1 percent in September and were 2.1 percent higher than a year earlier.

Manufacturers' unfilled orders, an indicator of future shipments, fell for the first time in over a year, down 1.3 percent. New orders slid 2.5 percent, adding to the sharp 5.4 percent drop in August.

Inventory levels also fell by 1 percent and the inventory-to-shipment ratio -- a measure of how many months it would take to exhaust inventories -- was unchanged at 1.31.


* Statistics Canada report