Index of Commodity Prices December 2013

Preliminary estimates for December indicate that the index declined by 1 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after remaining unchanged in November (revised). The largest contributors to the fall in December were declines in the prices of gold, iron ore and coking coal. The prices of many rural commodities also fell, while the base metals subindex rose in the month. In Australian dollar terms, the index increased by 3.3 per cent in December.

Over the past year, the index has declined by 4 per cent in SDR terms. The prices of gold, coal and wheat have fallen over this period, while the price of iron ore has risen. The index has risen by 11.7 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 2.2 per cent in December in SDR terms, to be 7.2 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.