New Zealand commodity prices fell for the sixth straight month in July, as uncertainty over the global economy and Europe's worsening debt crisis sapped demand for raw materials.

The ANZ Commodity Price Index fell 0.5 per cent last month. Wool dropped 7 per cent, bringing its decline over the past 12 months to 43 per cent, prices for skins dropped 4 per cent and beef and lamb fell 2 per cent.

Dairy products, the nation's biggest export commodity, mitigated the decline, rising almost 1 per cent in July. That was led by a 3 per cent increase in whole milk powder, while butter fell 4 per cent and skim milk powder was down 1 per cent. Prices were unchanged for cheese and casein. Dairy prices have tumbled 26 per cent in the past 12 months.

The ANZ survey comes after the results of the latest GlobalDairyTrade sale of dairy products showed a 3.5 per cent lift in prices, only the fourth sale where prices have gained this year.


Among other commodities, aluminium, pulp, kiwifruit and log prices declined 1 per cent. Prices of seafood and venison were unchanged, while sawn timber rose 1 per cent and apples were up 2 per cent.

The NZD commodity price index fell 3.1 per cent in July, reflecting a 2.2 per cent rise in the trade weighted index, and has declined 15.3 per cent in the past 12 months.