Index of Commodity Prices December 2016

Preliminary estimates for December indicate that the index increased by 8.1 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after increasing by 11.8 per cent in November (revised). The increase was led by the prices of iron ore and coking coal. The base metals subindex increased in the month, while the rural subindex declined. In Australian dollar terms, the index rose by 9.3 per cent in December.

Over the past year, the index has increased by 45.5 per cent in SDR terms, led by higher coking coal and iron ore prices. The index has increased by 39.7 per cent in Australian dollar terms.

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 declined by 0.4 per cent in December in SDR terms, but remains 68.0 per cent higher 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).