Index of Commodity Prices November 2010

Preliminary estimates for November indicate that the index rose by 0.9 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after falling 0.1 per cent in October (revised). The largest contributor to the rise in November was an increase in the price of gold. An increase in the estimated price of coal also contributed to the rise, reflecting the strong performance of spot prices in the month, as did an increase in the price of wool. The estimated price of iron ore fell in the month, reflecting further movement towards lower contract prices for the December quarter which offset strength in the spot market. In Australian dollar terms the index fell by 0.5 per cent in November (with the appreciation of the exchange rate).

Over the past year, the index has risen by 44 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 except milk powder prices increased over this period. With the appreciation of the exchange rate over the year, the index rose by 31 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.