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Commodity prices up again, near new record

New Zealand commodity prices rose for a fourth straight month, and are now just 1.8 per cent below the record set in April, as wool extended its rally to a 22-month high.

The ANZ Commodity Price Index rose 1.3 per cent in October to 327.6 for an annual increase of 23 per cent. In April the index reached 333.5.

Eleven of the 17 commodities tracked rose last month, five fell and one was unchanged. Wool rose 10 per cent, adding to a September gain of 13 per cent. Beef, aluminium, butter, pelts and wood pulp rose 3 per cent, whole milk powder rose 2 per cent and sheep meat and logs rose 1 per cent. Seafood and casein rose about 0.25 per cent.

Skim milk and kiwifruit fell 2 per cent, apples were down 1 per cent, cheese fell 0.5 per cent and sawn timber fell 0.25 per cent. Venison was unchanged for a second month.

Cavalier, the listed carpet maker, said last month it was hoping the 'main shear' from December to early February would help alleviate high prices for coarse wool as more came to market. Managing director Colin McKenzie said drought and reduced stock numbers had combined with a seasonal low in wool availability to drive up prices.

Local producers didn't feel the benefits of the gain in world prices of commodities because of a strengthening New Zealand dollar. The ANZ NZD Commodity Price Index fell 0.6 per cent in October following a 1.1 per cent decline in September, to be up 21 per cent from a year earlier.

- BusinessDesk

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