Index of Commodity Prices August 2010

Preliminary estimates for August indicate that the index increased by 2.7 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after rising 2.4 per cent in July (revised). The largest contributors to the rise in August were increases in the estimated prices of iron ore and coal. Also, the prices of wheat and barley rose sharply. In Australian dollar terms, the index rose by 0.8 per cent in August, following an increase of 2.1 per cent in July (revised).

Over the past year, the index has risen 53 per cent in SDR terms. Much of this rise has been due to increases in iron ore, coking coal and thermal coal export prices, although all components of the index increased over this period. With the appreciation of the exchange rate over the year, the index rose by 38 per cent in Australian dollar terms.

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.