Index of Commodity Prices May 2015

Preliminary estimates for May indicate that the index declined by 1.6 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after declining by 3.5 per cent in April (revised). Falls in the prices of coking and thermal coal contributed to the decline in May. The base metals subindex was little changed in the month, while the rural commodities subindex fell. In Australian dollar terms, the index declined by 2.1 per cent in May.

Over the past year, the index has fallen by 19.5 per cent in SDR terms, largely driven by falls in the prices of bulk commodities. The index has fallen by 13.9 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 increased by 0.3 per cent in May in SDR terms, to be around 20 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).