5 Jul 2011

Export commodity prices fall for first time in months

7:35 am on 5 July 2011

Prices for New Zealand's main commodity exports have fallen for the first time in almost a year.

The ANZ Commodity Price Index slipped 1.2% in June, led by sharp falls in prices for kiwifruit and beef. Prices for whole milk powder, skins, aluminium and apple also fell.

Its the first time since August last year that the index has fallen, and ANZ economist Steve Edwards says it could be the first signs of a levelling out in the commodity price index.

However whether a trend emerges will hinge on diary prices, which make up 40% of the index and which fell last month.

When converted back into New Zealand dollars, returns at the farm gate fell 3.3% because the currency rose more than 2% on a trade-weighted basis during the month.

Mr Edwards says the index remains at at elevated level, with returns to farmers about 5% higher than a year ago.