Index of Commodity Prices April 2011

Preliminary estimates for April indicate that the index rose by 7.6 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after rising by 0.8 per cent in March (revised). The largest contributors to the rise in April were increases in the estimated export prices of coking coal and iron ore, reflecting the movement to higher contract prices in the June quarter. The estimated export price of thermal coal as well as crude oil and gold prices also rose notably in the month, while sugar and cotton prices fell. In Australian dollar terms, the index rose by 3.8 per cent in April.

Over the past year, the index has risen by 32 per cent in SDR terms. Much of this rise has been due to increases in iron ore, coking coal and thermal coal export prices. With the appreciation of the exchange rate over the year, the index rose by 22 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.