Index of Commodity Prices March 2018

Preliminary estimates for March indicate that the index decreased by 0.6 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after increasing by 5.6 per cent in February (revised). Iron ore led the decrease. The rural subindex increased in the month, while the base metals subindex declined. In Australian dollar terms, the index increased by 1 per cent in March.

Over the past year, the index has decreased by 2.1 per cent in SDR terms, led by lower iron ore prices. The index has increased by 3.1 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 decreased by 4.6 per cent in March in SDR terms, to be 2.1 per cent lower 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 2018).