Commodity prices up 3.5% last month, led by milk, aluminium
(BusinessDesk) New Zealand commodity prices rose for a second month in September in the strongest monthly gain in a year and a half, led by skim milk powder and aluminium.
The ANZ commodity price index was up 3.5% last month, about 14% weaker than the same month a year ago. Excluding dairy prices, the index rose 0.5%.
The largest increase was shared by skim milk powder and aluminium, both up 11%, followed by butter and whole milk powder up 8%, wool and apple prices gaining 6%, cheese climbing 5%, venison up 2% and logs and beef rising 0.5%.
The price of pelts bucked the trend, falling 10%, with casein and kiwifruit prices down 2%. Lamb eased 1%.
In New Zealand dollar terms, the commodity price index rose for the first month in nine, up 3%.
The strong kiwi dollar has dampened the potential returns for local exporters, recently trading near its recent six-month high of 82.81 US cents.
Last week, Fonterra missed its forecast, with a 19% drop to $6.40 in its 2012 payout to farmers, reflecting lower prices for milk and a stronger kiwi and in spite of record production.
The survey comes ahead of Fonterra's fortnightly GlobalDairyTrade auction overnight in the United States.
Dairy prices rose 6% to the highest level since early April at the last auction in their third straight gain, with increases for all eight products on offer.