Commodity prices continue to rise

JAMES WEIR
Last updated 14:04 04/03/2014

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World commodity prices are up again, rising 0.9 per cent in February to touch a new high for New Zealand's key exports.

The latest lift carries on a trend of rising commodity prices that have raised New Zealand's terms of trade to a 40-year high, ANZ Bank said, a key support for the economy.

With the New Zealand dollar steady in the month, the New Zealand dollar index for commodity prices was also up 0.9 per cent in February, with an annual gain of 24.4 per cent.

The ANZ commodity price index showed that in world price terms, cheese and butter led the way in February, up 7 per cent and 6 per cent, respectively.

The price of logs, skim milk powder, beef and animal pelts were all up 2 per cent in the month.

The increase in cheese prices pushed that price series to a six-year high, while butter is at a 2-1/2-year high. Casein is at a five-year high, while sheepmeat is at its best for 22 months.

Log prices are now at a 20-year high in world price terms.

On the other side of the ledger, the price of wool dipped 3 per cent in February to a six-month low.

Aluminium was down 2 per cent to a 4-1/2-year low.

There was a tiny drop in whole milk prices, down 0.5 per cent, and seafood also slid a bit. Prices were flat for wood pulp, kiwifruit, apples and venison.

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- Fairfax Media

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