NZ commodity prices fall for third month, led by dairy products
By Jonathan Underhill
June 4 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand commodity prices fell for a third month in May, led by dairy products in the wake of a slide in world prices this year.
The ANZ Commodity Price Index dropped 2.2 percent to 317.7 last month for an annual decline of 3.1 percent. In New Zealand dollar terms, prices fell 2.1 percent in the latest month and 6 percent in the year.
The commodity index comes after dairy product prices fell 4.2 percent in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction overnight, the eighth straight decline, to a 16-month low. Economists say the drop in dairy prices mean the terms of trade, which reached a new 40-year high in the first quarter, is unlikely to push on to a record high any time soon.
Skim milk fell 7 percent in May, while cheese declined 6 percent and whole milk powder fell 5 percent, the commodity index shows. Butter prices dropped 2 percent.
Forestry prices also declined, with logs down 4 percent and wood pulp falling 2 percent. Aluminium declined 3 percent and casein and pelts both slipped about 0.5 percent.
Among gaining prices, wool rose 5 percent, kiwifruit rose 4 percent and apples gained 0,.5 percent. Sheepmeat rose 0.5 percent to a two-year high. Seafood, sawn timber and beef edged up about 0.25 percent, with seafood reaching a record and sawn timber at a six-year high.