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Commodity prices rise 1.8% to record in July

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Tuesday 5th August 2008

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New Zealand commodity prices rose to a record in July, led by gains in beef, aluminium and lamb, according to the ANZ Commodity Price Index.

The price gauge rose 1.8% last month, with eight commodities rising, one unchanged and four declining, ANZ Bank said in its report. The separate index measuring the New Zealand dollar prices of commodities gained 2.8%, also a record.

"The rapid rise in commodity prices is a good news story for New Zealand" and will help assist in rebalancing the economy away from domestic consumption, said Steve Edwards, economist at the bank.

Exports of commodities such as dairy products, meat, logs and wool dominate the nation's exports and may help provide a buffer to the economy as consumer spending slumps and demand for housing deteriorates.

In world prices, beef rose 10.5% percent in July and has gained 38% from a year earlier. Aluminium prices rose 3.8% in the latest month and lamb gained 3.3%.

Prices for sawn timber fell 4.3%, pelt prices fell 3.2% and wool declined 1.1%.

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