NZ commodity prices rise to new record, NZ dollar price eases as kiwi soars
June 1 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand commodity prices edged up to a new record in May, led by kiwifruit at the start of a new season. Prices in New Zealand dollars fell from a record level as the kiwi dollar climbed to a post-float high.
The ANZ Commodity Price Index rose 0.3% in May, the smallest gain of nine consecutive increases, following a 1.6% gain in April. The New Zealand dollar recently bought 81.97 U.S. cents, having reached 82.62 cents yesterday, the highest since being allowed to trade freely in March 1985.
Prices of kiwifruit jumped 27% and were up 19% from the same time last year.
Prices of skim milk powder, lumber, cheese and sheepmeat all rose 2%, while skins gained 4%. Log and venison prices advanced 1% and seafood gained 0.3%.
The monthly commodity price series comes after trade data this week showed primary produce drove the trade surplus to a record $1.1 billion in April and figures today showing the terms of trade rose to the highest level since 1974 in the first quarter.
In May, prices of nine commodities rose, six fell and two were unchanged, of the 17 monitored in the ANZ report.
Apple prices fell 7%, beef declined 5%, whole milk powder dropped 4%, aluminium fell 3% and wool fell 0.3%, its first decline this year.
Prices of wood pulp and casein were unchanged.
The aggregate NZD Commodity Price Index fell 0.8% though ANZ economist Steve Edwards said it remains “elevated” and is 12% up from a year earlier.