Commodity prices take a breather

Last updated 14:12 03/12/2013

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In the first fall for five months, New Zealand's key export commodity prices eased back 0.4 per cent in November, according to the ANZ Commodity Price Index.

Despite the dip, the index is still only 2 per cent down on the all time high in world price terms, seen in April this year.

There was a near-even split between rises and falls. International prices for seven commodities rose in the month and six fell. Three commodity prices were unchanged.

The biggest drop was for aluminium, down 4 per cent in November, falling to a four-year low.

Whole milk powder prices fell 3 per cent and the world butter price was down 2 per cent.

In contrast, the prices of animal pelts rose 5 per cent to a 16 year high.

There was a 3 per cent lift in skim milk powder and a 2 per cent rise in cheese prices.

Lamb, beef and wool prices were all up 1.5 per cent in the month, while log prices were up 0.25 per cent.

In New Zealand dollar terms, the basket of commodity prices was up 0.4 per cent in the month because of a fall in the New Zealand currency. The Kiwi dollar fell against the US dollar and the British pound, but rose to a six-year high against the Australian dollar.

In New Zealand dollar terms, the basket of commodity prices is 2 per cent down on the recent peak in August and almost 7 per cent down on the all-time peak in early 2011.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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