New Zealand commodity prices rose slightly in January with meat, dairy, forestry and aluminium prices all lifting; the only fall was seen in milkfat products.

The ANZ Commodity Price index rose 0.7 per cent to 288.2 in January and was up 4.1 per cent in the year. It was the first rise since September.

However, in New Zealand dollar terms the index dropped 2.9 per cent to 211.0 on the month, paring the annual gain to 4.8 per cent, as the New Zealand dollar "continued to squeeze higher against major trading partners in January," said ANZ Agri Economist Con Williams.

In the dairy sector, while milk powder prices rose with whole milk powder up 5.1 per cent on the month and skim milk powder up 3.2 per cent, butter fell 5.6 per cent, cheese was down 5.0 per cent and casein was down 3.5 per cent. This was due largely to increased European and US milk flow, in the case of butter, lower seasonal demand, and building cheese stocks, said Williams.


Meat and fibre prices rose 0.6 per cent, with lamb and venison prices holding at recent historic highs. Coarse breed wool prices lifted 0.8 per cent on the month as they continue to struggle at low levels as seasonal supply increases.

Seafood prices were stable and "horticultural products are in hibernation for the off-season," Williams said.

Forestry prices, meanwhile maintained positive momentum. Log export prices rose another 2 per cent on the month with solid offtake in China and seasonally low inventories. Wood pulp prices rose a further 1 per cent on the month.

Aluminium prices rose 6.2 per cent month on month as production outside of China flat lined and demand was solid with a synchronised uplift in global manufacturing activity taking place, said Williams.