Index of Commodity Prices April 2016

Preliminary estimates for April indicate that the index rose by 2.0 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after increasing by 6.3 per cent in March (revised). Increases in the prices of iron ore and coking coal were partly offset by lower LNG prices. The base metals subindex was little changed, while the rural subindex rose in the month. In Australian dollar terms, the index rose by 0.6 per cent in April.

Over the past year, the index has fallen by 9.4 per cent in SDR terms, led by declines in the prices of base metals. The index has fallen by 7.0 per cent in Australian dollar terms over the past year.

Consistent with previous releases, preliminary estimates for iron ore, coking coal, thermal coal and LNG export prices are being used for the most recent months, based on market information. Using spot prices for the bulk commodities, the index rose by 1.7 per cent in April in SDR terms, to be 5.1 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 2016).