4 Aug 2014

Commodity prices down for 5th month

3:33 pm on 4 August 2014

Commodity prices have fallen for the fifth successive month. The ANZ Bank's monthly Commodity Price Index eased 2.4 percent in July, compared with the previous month, and is 10 percent below the record high in February.

NZ cheeses

Cheese was down by 3 percent. Photo: PHOTO NZ

Dairy prices, making up nearly half of the weighting in the basket of 13 commodities, led the way, with whole milk powder down by 12 percent, butter by 7 percent, cheese and skim milk powder by 3 percent and casein by 2 percent.

Apples prices also declined, due to weaker demand in Europe, as did logs and wood. That offset gains in other commodities.

Beef prices rose by 12 percent, due to a shortage of supply in the United States, while aluminium rose by 5.5 percent. Kiwifruit and sheep meat prices also edged up.

The index is 3 percent lower than a year ago, with a 19 percent drop in dairy prices more than off-setting a 21 percent jump in meat prices to fresh highs.

When converted back into New Zealand dollars, a higher dollar saw returns to commodity producers fall 3.5 percent in July and by 12 percent for the year.