Index of Commodity Prices May 2010

Preliminary estimates for May indicate that the index increased by 2.9 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after rising 18.6 per cent in April (revised). The largest contributors to the rise in May were increases in the gold price, and the estimated prices of iron ore and coal, in SDR terms. The prices of base metals and crude oil fell. In Australian dollar terms, the index is estimated to have risen by 6.6 per cent in May, in part due to the depreciation of the Australian dollar; this follows a rise of 16.1 per cent in the index in Australian dollar terms in April (revised).

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.

The index has been revised to reflect a change in the reference barley price. However, because barley has a weight of only about ½ per cent, revisions from this change are very small.

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.