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Aluminium leads gain in NZ commodity prices

Aluminium leads gain in NZ commodity prices, wood products rise

August 4 (BusinessWire) – Aluminium posted the biggest gains among New Zealand commodity prices in July, followed by wood pulp, lumber and logs, according to the ANZ Commodity Price Index.

The index rose 1% last month, the fifth straight increase, bringing the gain since February to 7.8%. The world price index rise to 159.9, down from 223.5 in July 2008. The NZ Dollar Commodity Price Index edged up just 0.1%, reflecting the kiwi’s gains against the currencies of most trading partners.

Aluminium gained 6.7% from June, while wood pulp rose 3.4%, lumber climbed 2.5% and logs rose 2.1%. Beef prices rose 1.4%, wool gained 0.8% and dairy prices rose 0.6%.

The advance reflects a global rally in commodity prices as better-than-expected economic data and rising stock markets stoke optimism the world will climb out of its slump, reviving demand for raw materials. The Reuters/Jefferies-CRB Index of 19 raw materials climbed 3.4% to 266.28 yesterday in New York.

Seafood prices posted the biggest decline in July, falling 2.2%, the ninth successive monthly decline to a two-year low.

Sanford Ltd., the biggest fishing company listed on the NZX, has declined about 8% in the past two months, while the NZX 50 climbed by about the same amount. The shares climbed 33% last year, making Sanford a standout on the benchmark index.

A weakening kiwi dollar, which fell from a record high above 81 U.S. cents in February 2008, to about 52 cents in December, helped stoke returns from strong global prices for seafood last year.

Kiwifruit prices fell 1.6% last month and apples declined 0.4%. Prices of lamb fell 1.4% and skins dropped 0.4%. Venison rose 0.3%.


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