Index of Commodity Prices January 2012

Preliminary estimates for January indicate that the index rose by 0.2 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after falling by 1.3 per cent in December (revised). The largest contributors to the rise in January were increases in the prices of gold and oil, while the prices of base metals and most rural commodities also increased. The estimated export price of coking coal continued to decline in the month, reflecting a further decline in spot and contract prices. In Australian dollar terms, the index fell 3.0 per cent in January.

Over the past year, the index has risen by 6 per cent in SDR terms. Much of this rise has been due to the earlier increases in the prices of coal, gold and oil. The index has risen by 1 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.