Index of Commodity Prices August 2017

Preliminary estimates for August indicate that the index increased by 1.5 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after decreasing by 0.8 per cent in July (revised). An increase in the iron ore price more than offset declines in coking coal and beef prices. The rural subindex decreased in the month, while the base metal subindex increased slightly. In Australian dollar terms, the index increased by 1.0 per cent in August.

Over the past year, the index has increased by 20.1 per cent in SDR terms, led by higher coal and iron ore prices. The index has increased by 16.6 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 increased by 7.8 per cent in August in SDR terms and remains 25.4 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).