Index of Commodity Prices August 2013

Preliminary estimates for August indicate that the index rose by 0.2 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after rising by 1.6 per cent in July (revised). The largest contributors to the rise in August were increases in the prices of iron ore and gold. The prices of base metals also increased, while the prices of many rural commodities declined in the month. In Australian dollar terms, the index rose by 2.7 per cent in August.

Over the past year, the index has fallen by 7.3 per cent in SDR terms. Much of this fall has been due to declines in the prices of coking coal, thermal coal and gold, although the price of iron ore has risen. The index has increased by 7.8 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. Using spot prices for these commodities, the index increased by 1.3 per cent in August in SDR terms, to be 1.7 per cent lower over the past year.

For further details regarding the construction of the index, please refer to ‘Changes to the RBA Index of Commodity Prices: 2013’ in the March 2013 issue of the Bulletin.