New Zealand commodity prices fell to an 18 month low in April, led by a decline in the price of sheep meat.
The ANZ Commodity Price Index slipped 4.5 per cent to 267.5 in April, to the lowest since December 2009, in what was the biggest monthly drop since February of the same year when the world was in the grips of the global financial crisis. In New Zealand dollar terms, the index fell 4 per cent to 178.3.
Twelve of the commodities fell, two rose and three remained unchanged. The biggest fall across the commodity basket was in the price of sheep meat down 12 per cent to an 18-month low, while wool prices dropped 9 per cent to a 16-month low.
All of the dairy components eased, led by a 7 per cent fall in the price of cheese. Milk powder dropped 6 per cent and butter prices decreased 5 per cent.
"As a consequence of the global financial crisis and some fringe dairy exporting nations gradually increasing production, global dairy prices fell back sharply," ANZ economist Steve Edwards said in his report.
"Dairy prices have slipped again following weaker demand from China and increased production internationally."
Fonterra's online dairy auction site, GlobalDairyTrade, attracted its lowest average winning price since August 2009 as international demand for dairy at any price dwindles.
The ANZ series showed the only commodities to record a price increase last month were wood pulp up 4 per cent and pelts up 5 per cent.
The price for apples, venison and sawn timber was unchanged.