Index of Commodity Prices September 2010

Preliminary estimates for September indicate that the index increased by 1.5 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after rising 3.6 per cent in August (revised). The largest contributors to the rise in September were increases in the prices of gold, wheat and sugar. The prices of base metals also increased, while the estimated price of iron ore fell slightly. In Australian dollar terms the index fell by 2.0 per cent in September (with the appreciation of the exchange rate), following an increase of 1.7 per cent in August (revised).

Over the past year, the index has risen by 52 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 36 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.