3 Oct 2012

Dairy drives commodities index lift

6:04 am on 3 October 2012

A major pick-up in dairy prices has helped lift a key commodity price index by its highest monthly rise in 18 months.

The ANZ index rose 3.5 points in September, led by skim milkpowder and aluminium rising 11%.

Wool, apple, cheese and venison prices climbed in September, while kiwifruit and lamb dropped.

ANZ economist Steve Edwards says dairy products make up about 40% of the index.

"If we take dairy prices out, the rise in the index is only about 0.5%," says Mr Edwards.

"It looks like a floor has been reached in dairy prices".

"Some of the buyers in the Middle East, Asia and China are starting to top-up before prices move any more.

"We've also seen a slowing in milk production in Europe, the USA and in China".

But Mr Edwards says the high exchange rate for the New Zealand dollar is continuing to hurt exporters in meat, seafood and forestry sectors.