Index of Commodity Prices September 2011

Preliminary estimates for September indicate that the index rose by 1.0 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after rising by 0.3 per cent in August (revised). The largest contributors to the rise in September were increases in the estimated export prices of iron ore and thermal coal. Despite declining over recent weeks, crude oil and gold prices also rose in monthly average terms, while the prices of base metals and most rural commodities declined in the month. In Australian dollar terms, the index rose by 1.9 per cent in September.

Over the past year, the index has risen by 27 per cent in SDR terms. Much of this rise has been due to increases in iron ore, coking coal and thermal coal export prices. Reflecting the earlier appreciation of the exchange rate, the index has risen by 20 per cent in Australian dollar terms over the past year.

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.