Index of Commodity Prices December 2011

Preliminary estimates for December indicate that the index fell by 1.0 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after falling by 0.2 per cent in November (revised). The price of gold declined in the month, as did the estimated export prices of coking coal and iron ore, as they continue to adjust to lower spot and contract prices. In Australian dollar terms, the index fell 2.5 per cent in December.

Over the past year, the index has risen by 11 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. The index has risen by 10 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.