Index of Commodity Prices August 2011

Preliminary estimates for August indicate that the index rose by 0.4 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after rising by 1.8 per cent in July (revised). The largest contributor to the rise in August was a strong increase in the price of gold, while prices for crude oil and the base metals fell. In Australian dollar terms, the index rose by 3.6 per cent in August.

Over the past year, the index has risen by 25 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 13 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.