Commodity prices snap seven-month slide, rise 0.5% in August
BUSINESSDESK: New Zealand commodity prices arrested a seven-month slide in August, with gains led by dairy products and beef.
The ANZ Commodity Price Index rose 0.5% last month to be about 15% weaker than a year ago. Five commodity prices rose, five were unchanged and seven fell in the latest month.
August's gains may offer only a temporary reprieve, with New Zealand's biggest market of Australia grappling with plunging prices for key export commodities such as iron ore and signs manufacturing has run out of momentum in China, the nation's second-largest market.
Skim milk powder rose 5% in August, while prices for beef, butter and whole milk powder were up 3% and kiwifruit prices gained 1%.
Pelt prices dropped 8%, wool declined 5%, wood pulp fell 3% and logs, casein, apples and aluminium all slid 2%. Prices were unchanged for lamb, venison, seafood, cheese and sawn timber.
Dairy product prices reached a three-month high in August but are still 29% below their peak of March 2011. Fonterra last month cut its forecast 2013 payout to farmers by 30 cents, citing weaker world prices and the impact of a stronger kiwi dollar.
Fonterra's latest GlobalDairyTrade auction is to be held overnight.
With the stronger New Zealand dollar, the NZD Commodity Price Index fell 0.8% in August.