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NZ commodity prices rise for first time in 8 months

Thursday 2nd February 2012

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New Zealand commodity prices rose for the first time in eight months in January, led by aluminium and dairy products, though the high kiwi dollar wiped out the benefits in local currency terms.

The ANZ Commodity Price Index rose 1.2 percent in January, having fallen 9.8 percent in the previous seven months. The ANZ NZD Commodity Price Index fell 2.9 percent to a 14-month low, reflecting the strengthening kiwi dollar.

Nine of the 17 commodity types rose in the latest month, while three fell and five were unchanged. Aluminium gained 6 percent in January, snapping an eight-month slide. Cheese rose 5 percent, while skim milk powder and butter gained 3 percent.

Lamb prices rose 2 percent after three months of declines. Beef, logs, skins and whole milk powder all rose about 1 percent.

The price of wool fell 7 percent and has declined in five of the past six months, ANZ said. The price of wool is now 19 percent below its peak of July last year. Kiwifruit prices fell 2 percent and venison dropped 1 percent.

The New Zealand dollar traded recently at 83.20 US cents, the highest since September. The trade weighted index was at 72.93, a five-month high.


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