Australian commodity prices fell heavily again in June

Sally McLellan of Australia falls next to Evmorfia Baourda of Cyprus during the women’s 100 metre hurdle final at the athletics during day nine of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 24, 2006. Photo: Ryan Pierse/ Getty Images.

Prices for Australia’s key commodity exports fell heavily again last month, according to data released by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) earlier today.

The bank’s Commodity Price Index fell by 4.3% in SDR terms in June, following a 7.2% decrease in May. Courtesy of a stronger Australian dollar, prices in local currency terms fell by a larger 5.3%.

The SDR currency basket, determined by the IMF, is a weighted index tracking movements in the US dollar, euro, Chinese renminbi, Japanese yen and the British pound over a particular period.

The RBA said the decrease in June was led by declines in iron ore, coking coal and base metals prices, offset by an increase in those for rural goods.

These estimates are based on export prices using market information provided to the RBA and do not reflect movements in spot markets.

Using spot price movements, the RBA said the index fell by 5.1% in June.

Despite recent weakness, as shown in the chart below from the RBA, commodity prices are still significantly higher than a year ago.

Source: RBA

In SDR terms they increased by 25%, and by a smaller 20.2% in Australian dollar terms.

This table shows the weightings of individual commodities in the RBA index.

Source: RBA

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