Index of Commodity Prices May 2012

Preliminary estimates for May indicate that the index fell by 1.9 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after falling by 2.6 per cent in April (revised). The largest contributors to the fall in May were decreases in the prices of oil, gold and iron ore, while the prices of base metals and a range of rural commodities also decreased. In Australian dollar terms, the index rose by 0.9 per cent in May.

Over the past year, the index has fallen by 9.9 per cent in SDR terms. Much of this fall has been due to falls in the prices of coking coal and iron ore. The index has fallen by 7.6 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.