Index of Commodity Prices March 2015

Preliminary estimates for March indicate that the index declined by 1.7 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after declining by 3.7 per cent in February (revised). The largest contributor to the decline in March was the price of iron ore. The rural commodities subindex fell while the base metals subindex rose during the month. In Australian dollar terms, the index declined by 2.8 per cent in March.

Over the past year, the index has fallen by 19.7 per cent in SDR terms, largely driven by falls in the prices of bulk commodities. The index has fallen by 15.6 per cent in Australian dollar terms over the past year.

Consistent with previous releases, preliminary estimates for iron ore, coking coal and thermal coal export prices are being used for the most recent months, based on market information. Using spot prices for these commodities, the index declined by 2.6 per cent in March in SDR terms, to be around 19 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 and ‘Weights for the Index of Commodity Prices’ (April 2015).