Australia's commodity price rally stalled in March

Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Now here’s something that hasn’t been heard much recently.

Prices for Australia’s key commodity exports didn’t – repeat, didn’t – increase last month.

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s commodity price index held steady at 149.7 in special drawing rights terms (SDR), marking the first time since June last year that the index failed to increase.

“An increase in the price of iron ore was offset by a lower coal and oil prices,” the RBA said. “The rural subindex increased slightly in the month, while the base metals subindex decreased slightly.”

Despite the steady reading, the index still surged by 50.1% from a year earlier.

Here’s what that looks like in chart form.

Source: RBA

And here’s how rural, base metals and bulk commodity prices have fared in SDR terms over the same period.

Over the year, rural commodity prices rose by 9.1% while base metals increased by 29.2%.

While large, they were substantially overshadowed by the 84.5% surge recorded in bulk commodity prices, the largest component within the overall commodity price index.

For those with an interest, here’s the new weightings that the RBA will apply to individual commodity prices from next month.

While lower than what was the case previously, the weightings for bulk commodity prices will remain more than 50% of the entire index.

Source: RBA

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