Index of Commodity Prices October 2011

Preliminary estimates for October indicate that the index fell by 3.9 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after falling by 1.4 per cent in September (revised). The largest contributors to the fall in October were declines in the estimated export prices of coking coal and iron ore, reflecting weaker spot prices and a decline in contract prices. Gold and base metals prices, as well as the prices of most rural commodities, also fell in monthly average terms. In Australian dollar terms, the index fell by 3.2 per cent in October.

Over the past year, the index has risen by 19 per cent in SDR terms. Much of this rise has been due to the earlier increases in iron ore, coking coal and thermal coal export prices. Reflecting the appreciation of the exchange rate, the index has risen by 16 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.