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NZ commodity prices fall for fifth straight month, biggest decline since February 2009

Tuesday 1st November 2011

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New Zealand commodity prices had the biggest monthly decline since February 2009, rounding out the fifth consecutive slide, led by dairy products and kiwifruit.

The ANZ Commodity Price Index dropped 3.5 percent in October and has fallen 7.9 percent from its May peak. Of the 17 commodities measured, 10 fell, two rose and five were unchanged.

The index fell 0.6 percent local currency terms, reflecting a broadly weaker New Zealand dollar. That softened the impact of the decline in global commodity prices.

The trade-weighted index has declined 6 percent in the past three months.

The decline in the world and NZ dollar indexes brings them back to their levels at the start of the year, though they are both at the highest for the month of October in at least five years.

Kiwifruit prices tumbled 17 percent, which ANZ economist Steve Edwards said reflects the traditional end to the export season. Dairy products mainly fell, with cheese dropping 7 percent, skim milk powder and butter declining 6 percent, whole milk down 4 percent and casein down 1 percent.

Aluminium prices fell 5 percent and beefs fell 4 percent, while lamb and sawn timber both slid 1 percent.

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