5 Mar 2014

Cheese, butter lead commodity prices

7:55 am on 5 March 2014

Increased prices of cheese and butter are behind the ANZ's latest record high Commodity Price Index, an economist says.

The ANZ Bank's monthly Commodity Price Index rose 0.9 percent in February, its third successive gain.

As well as cheese and butter, prices for beef, lamb and pelts also rose, while prices for logs reached a 20-year high.

ANZ economist Steve Edwards said some dairy products were strong performers.

"We've seen increased demand offshore and that's pushed the price up," he said.

"There has been some limited supply quantities but generally we've seen renewed vigour from some of our offshore markets."

The losers were wool, which dropped 3 percent, and aluminium, down 2 percent.

When converted back into New Zealand dollars, returns at the farm gate also rose 0.9 percent, due to currency being little changed during the month.

Dairy makes up 47 percent of the commodity price index weights.