2 Apr 2014

Commodity prices edge down

1:39 pm on 2 April 2014

Commodity prices are down, due to a fall in dairy prices. ANZ Bank's monthly Commodity Price Index eased 0.1 percent in March compared with the previous month, the first decline since November.

Dairy prices, which make up nearly half of the weighting in the basket of 13 commodities, for cheese, skim and whole milk powders all fell. That offset gains in other commodities.

Sheepmeat rose by 9 percent to hit a two-year high, while beef rose by 6 percent to a 15-month high, and seafood increased 1.5 percent to a fresh record high.

Wool, pelts, wood pulp and aluminium also increased, as did logs, butter and timber prices.

ANZ says the index is still 14 percent higher than the same period a year ago.

When converted back into New Zealand dollars, returns to commodity producers fell 2 point 6 percent due to a higher dollar.

However, that's still 12 percent higher than a year ago, and is just 6 percent below its March 2011 peak.

Earlier on Wednesday, global milk prices fell for the fourth consecutive auction. Prices have now fallen by nearly a fifth since hitting a record high in early February.