New Zealand commodity prices fell for the eighth consecutive month in October, to the lowest level since March last year, as signs of recovery in dairy prices were offset by a drop in the price of pelts.
The ANZ Commodity Price Index slipped 0.8 percent last month, its second smallest decline since February, and is 14 percent below the February peak. The price of pelts slumped 14 percent, their seventh consecutive monthly fall, taking them to their lowest level in 22 months.
Meanwhile, dairy products, the country's largest export, rose. Skim and whole milk powder, cheese and butter, all rose between 0.4 percent and 0.7 percent, having tumbled from their peak at the start of the year.
Today's numbers come ahead of the GlobalDairyTrade auction overnight, where dairy prices have dropped 50 percent from their peak at the start of the year. In the last GDT auction two weeks ago prices rose from the lowest level in five years, suggesting falling prices have found a bottom and may begin to bounce back.
Other commodity prices which fell in October included a 4 percent drop in casein prices to an 18-month low, while beef fell 3 percent and aluminium and wool prices both declined 2 percent. Lamb and apple prices eased 1 percent, and seafood and timber both slipped less than a quarter of a percent, ANZ said.
Kiwifruit was the biggest gainer in the month, rising 8 percent, while log prices rose 0.2 percent. Wood pulp and venison prices remained static.
The ANZ NZD Commodity Price Index, which shows the price movements in New Zealand dollars, increased 2.4 percent, the strongest monthly increase in 18-months, but remains 14 percent below its March 2011 peak. The value of the New Zealand currency on a trade-weighted index basis fell 2.1 percent, as the kiwi dollar fell against the US dollar and the Japanese yen.