Index of Commodity Prices August 2012

Preliminary estimates for August indicate that the index fell by 3 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after rising by 0.9 per cent in July (revised). The largest contributors to the fall in August were declines in the prices of iron ore and coking coal. The prices of rural commodities and base metals also declined, however, the prices of oil and gold rose in the month. In Australian dollar terms, the index fell by 4.3 per cent in August.

Over the past year, the index has fallen by 13.7 per cent in SDR terms. Much of this fall has been due to declines in the prices of coking coal and iron ore. The index has fallen by 18.5 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.