Index of Commodity Prices May 2016

Preliminary estimates for May indicate that the index declined by 1.1 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after increasing by 1.6 per cent in April (revised). Declines in the prices of iron ore and LNG were partly offset by higher oil prices. Both the base metals and rural subindices declined slightly in the month. In Australian dollar terms, the index rose by 3.8 per cent in May.

Over the past year, the index has fallen by 10.0 per cent in SDR terms. The index has fallen by 2.5 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 fell by 3.0 per cent in May in SDR terms, to be 8.9 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).