Index of Commodity Prices May 2014

Preliminary estimates for May indicate that the index declined by 1.1 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after declining by 0.7 per cent in April (revised). The largest contributors to the fall in May were declines in the prices of iron ore and coking coal. The rural and base metals commodities subindices rose in the month. In Australian dollar terms, the index declined by 1.0 per cent in May.

Over the past year, the index has declined by 12.8 per cent in SDR terms, largely driven by declines in the prices of bulk commodities. The index has declined by 4.1 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 the most recent months, based on market information. Using spot prices for these commodities, the index fell by 2.9 per cent in May in SDR terms, to be around 14 per cent lower over the past year.

For further details regarding the construction of the index, please refer to ‘Changes to the RBA Index of Commodity Prices: 2013’ in the March 2013 issue of the Bulletin and ‘Weights for the Index of Commodity Prices’ (March 2014).