Commodity prices rise 1% in December but high kiwi erases benefits
New Zealand commodity prices rose for a fifth straight month in December, led by a surge in pelt prices and gains for aluminium and beef, though a strong New Zealand dollar eroded the benefits to local producers.
The ANZ Commodity Price Index rose 1 percent in to be 7 percent up since July last year. The index is still 14 percent below its April 2011 peak.
The NZD Commodity Price Index fell 0.1 percent "as the lift in the value of the kiwi dollar was greater than the rise in international commodity prices", ANZ says.
The kiwi briefly broke above 84 US cents overnight and has advanced about 12 percent from its lows of last May. The trade-weighted index was last at 75.17, up from 70.13 a year ago, and was at a 5½-year high in December.
Prices of pelts surged 29 percent to a seven-month high in December. Aluminium gained 7 percent and beef prices rose 3 percent.
Wood pulp, cheese, timber, butter, skim milk powder and wool all rose about 1 percent and casein gained about 0.25 percent.
Prices of lamb and whole milk powder fell 1 percent, and logs and kiwifruit fell 0.5 percent. Seafood, apples and venison were unchanged in the month.