NZ commodity prices lift 0.7% on month in January
By Rebecca Howard
Feb. 5 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand commodity prices rose slightly in January with meat, dairy, forestry and aluminium prices all lifting; the only fall was seen in milkfat products.
The ANZ Commodity Price index rose 0.7 percent to 288.2 in January and was up 4.1 percent in the year. It was the first rise since September. However, in New Zealand dollar terms the index dropped 2.9 percent to 211.0 on the month, paring the annual gain to 4.8 percent, as the New Zealand dollar "continued to squeeze higher against major trading partners in January," said ANZ Agri Economist Con Williams.
In the dairy sector, while milk powder prices rose with whole milk powder up 5.1 percent on the month and skim milk powder up 3.2 percent, butter fell 5.6 percent, cheese was down 5.0 percent and casein was down 3.5 percent. This was due largely to increased European and US milk flow, in the case of butter, lower seasonal demand, and building cheese stocks, said Williams.
Meat and fibre prices rose 0.6 percent, with lamb and venison prices holding at recent historic highs. Coarse breed wool prices lifted 0.8 percent on the month as they continue to struggle at low levels as seasonal supply increases.
Seafood prices were stable and "horticultural products are in hibernation for the off-season," said Williams. Forestry prices, meanwhile maintained positive momentum. Log export prices rose another 2 percent on the month with solid offtake in China and seasonally low inventories. Wood pulp prices rose a further 1 percent on the month.
Aluminium prices rose 6.2 percent month on month as production outside of China flatlined and demand was solid with a synchronised uplift in global manufacturing activity taking place, said Williams.