Cheese the toast of latest record NZ commodity prices

New Zealand commodity prices rose to a record in February, as cheese prices surged to a six-year high.

The ANZ Commodity Price Index advanced 0.9 percent to 337.4 from January. The index is 22.4 percent above February 2013. International prices for nine of New Zealand's main commodities increased in the month, four fell and four were unchanged.

Cheese led the gains, up 7 percent from January, paced by butter lifting 6 percent in the month. Casein rose 1 percent to reach a five-year high, while log prices increased 2 percent to a 20-year high, said ANZ.

The record commodity prices coincide with yesterday's terms of trade, which measure the quantity of imports the country can buy with a set amount of exports. The terms of trade gained 2.3 percent in the fourth quarter, to the highest level since December 1973. The gains were made on growth in dairy exports.

Wool slipped 3 percent to a six month low, while aluminium was down 2 percent, to a four and a half year low. Whole milk powder fell 0.5 percent and seafood posted slightly weaker prices.

Wood pulp, kiwifruit, apples and venison prices were unchanged.

In New Zealand dollar terms the index lifted 0.9 percent from January, keeping the annual gain at 24 percent.

(BusinessDesk)

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