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RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Index of Commodity Prices

December 2012

Release date: 2 January 2013

Preliminary estimates for December indicate that the index rose by 0.8 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after rising by 1.7 per cent in November (revised). The largest contributors to the rise in December were increases in the prices of iron ore, thermal coal and aluminium. Other base metals prices also increased in the month, while the price of gold fell. In Australian dollar terms, the index rose by 0.9 per cent in December.

Over the past year, the index has fallen by 8 per cent in SDR terms. Much of this fall has been due to declines in the price of coking coal. The index has fallen by 11.5 per cent in Australian dollar terms over the past year.

As indicated in previous releases, preliminary estimates for iron ore, coking coal and thermal coal export prices are being used for recent months, based on market information.

For further details regarding the construction of the index, please refer to ‘Updating the RBA's Index of Commodity Prices’ in the October 2009 issue of the Bulletin.