Index of Commodity Prices October 2010

Preliminary estimates for October indicate that the index fell by 1.1 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after falling 0.9 per cent in September (revised). The largest contributors to the fall in October were declines in the estimated export prices of iron ore and coal, reflecting lower contract prices for the December quarter. The prices of gold, oil and aluminium rose in the month. In Australian dollar terms the index fell by 2.9 per cent in October (with the appreciation of the exchange rate).

Over the past year, the index has risen by 46 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 33 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.