Index of Commodity Prices January 2017

Preliminary estimates for January indicate that the index increased by 5.3 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after increasing by 8.8 per cent in December (revised). The increase was led by the prices of iron ore and coking coal. The rural subindex increased in the month, while the base metals subindex was little changed. In Australian dollar terms, the index rose by 4.1 per cent in January.

Over the past year, the index has increased by 55.7 per cent in SDR terms, led by higher coking coal and iron ore prices. The index has increased by 43.6 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 6.8 per cent in January in SDR terms, but remains 58.9 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).