Index of Commodity Prices May 2017

Preliminary estimates for May indicate that the index decreased by 6.8 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after decreasing by 4.4 per cent in April (revised). The decrease was led by declines in iron ore, coking coal and thermal coal prices. The rural subindex increased in the month, while the base metals subindex declined. In Australian dollar terms, the index decreased by 4.5 per cent in May.

Over the past year, the index has increased by 32.6 per cent in SDR terms, led by higher coal and iron ore prices. The index has increased by 27.1 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 13 per cent in May in SDR terms, to be 29.3 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).