In June 2000 rural commodities made up 33.2% of the overall index, with beef and veal, wool, wheat and sugar being the main rural commodities.Non-rural commodities make up the rest of the index, with gold, coking and steaming coal, iron ore and aluminium being the main non-rural commodities.According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), export prices in the September quarter of this year were up by 3.5 per cent over the previous quarter (although still down more than five per cent over the year).The new trajectory for these key commodity prices has also seen the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science upgrade its forecasts for Australia’s resources and energy commodity export earnings, which it now expects to hit 6 billion in 2016-17, up 12 per cent from an estimated 7 billion in 2015-16 and more than billion higher than the projections for 2016-17 made in its previous forecast.Over the past year, the index has fallen by 9.9 per cent in SDR terms.Much of this fall has been due to falls in the prices of coking coal and iron ore.That reflected a drop of more than billion in the value of goods exports, with exports of iron ore alone – Australia’s largest export earner – down by almost billion as the price of iron ore slumped from more than US/t in January 2015 to US.60/t in December 2015.
As indicated in previous releases, preliminary estimates for iron ore, coking coal and thermal coal export prices are being used for recent months, based on market information.
Release date: 3 April 2017 New weights for the RBA Index of Commodity Prices will apply with the release of the index for March on 3 April 2017.
The index will be reweighted according to an average of export values in 2014//16 (previously 2013//15).
Over the past year, the index has now increased by 16 per cent in SDR terms and 7.8 per cent in dollar terms, boosted in particular by the surge in coking coal prices.
The same developments are also influencing Australia’s overall export prices.
The index will be rebased so that the 2015/16 average is 100 (previously 2014/15).