8 Jan 2009

NZ exports hit by fall in commodity prices

3:05 pm on 8 January 2009

A slide in world commodity prices is continuing, hitting many of the products New Zealand sells to the world.

The ANZ commodity price index for December fell 7.4% in the biggest monthly fall since the series began in 1986. The index records a basket of New Zealand exports.

In December every commodity, except apples, fell in value. It is the fifth successive monthly fall in the index since it peaked in July 2008.

Wool and dairy prices recorded falls of more than 12%. The ANZ says dairy prices are now at the same level as two years ago, before a surge 18 months ago.

Wool prices have dropped for six successive months and are now only 2% above their lowest recorded point.

Seafood and lamb prices are down 2.4%, and venison and beef by 1.4%.

Aluminium returns fell 20%, to a five-year low. Wood pulp prices were down 3.7%.