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NZ commodity prices drop for 6th month

NZ commodity prices drop for 6th month on pulp, milk powder

Feb. 4 – New Zealand commodity prices fell for the sixth straight month, bringing their slide from the peak in July to 28%, led by wood pulp and milk powder.

The ANZ Commodity Price Index fell 4.3% in January, following a 7.4% in December. Nine of the 13 commodity types weakened in January, with wood pulp sliding 13% and dairy dropping 12.3%.

Prices of logs slid 7.9% to a two-year low and wool prices declined 6.4% to the lowest level since the series began in 1986. Venison prices weakened 5.5%, aluminium fell 5.1% and pelt prices dropped 4.6%, reaching a record low. Beef and lamb prices both rose about 3.5% while prices of apples and kiwifruit were unchanged from the previous months.

Falling prices come as the world’s biggest economic zones – Europe, the U.S. and Japan – slide into their first synchronised recession since WWII. The average price of milk powder tumbled 8.2% in the latest Fonterra Cooperative Group online auction this week.

The average price of milk powder has now fallen 58% to US$1851 per metric ton since the introduction of the controversial auctions last July. The world’s largest dairy exporter last week revised its forecast payout for the 2008-2009 season down to NZ$5.10 per kilogram, 35% lower than the record NZ$7.90 per kg paid to farmers last season.

The ANZ NZD Commodity Price Index fell 4.3%, tracking the world index lower as the currency was at similar levels on a trade-weighted basis last month as in December, according to the report.


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