Index of Commodity Prices September 2013

Preliminary estimates for September indicate that the index fell by 0.5 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after rising by 0.4 per cent in August (revised). The largest contributor to the fall in September was the decline in the price of iron ore. The prices of base metals also fell, while the prices of coking coal and many rural commodities increased in the month. In Australian dollar terms, the index fell by 2.9 per cent in September.

Over the past year, the index has fallen by 3.1 per cent in SDR terms. Much of this fall has been due to declines in the prices of coking coal, gold and thermal coal, although the price of iron ore has risen. The index has increased 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. Using spot prices for these commodities, the index declined by 0.8 per cent in September in SDR terms, to be 1.3 per cent higher 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.