Index of Commodity Prices March 2017

Preliminary estimates for March indicate that the index was unchanged (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after increasing by 3.7 per cent in February (revised). An increase in the price of iron ore was offset by a lower coal and oil prices. The rural subindex increased slightly in the month, while the base metals subindex decreased slightly. In Australian dollar terms, the index increased by 0.5 per cent in March.

Over the past year, the index has increased by 50.1 per cent in SDR terms, led by higher coking coal and iron ore prices. The index has increased by 43.2 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 1.0 per cent in March in SDR terms, but remains 42.6 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 2017).