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Falling dairy prices drag commodity index down

Thursday 1st July 2010

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New Zealand commodity prices fell for the first time in 15 months as the ANZ Commodity Price Index eased from a record high in May, reflecting softer prices for dairy products.  

The index fell 1.2% to 280.9 last month, following a revised 2.8% gain in May. Dairy prices sank 3.1%, with dairy index skim milk prices tumbling 8.1% in a month when Fonterra Cooperative Group's online trading platform, globalDairyTrade, reported a decline in the average price for whole milk powder and increased volatility.  

In New Zealand dollar terms, the index slipped 0.2% to 217.2 as the kiwi dollar pared its gains last month.  

ANZ economist Steve Edwards said the index was still at the "second highest level measured behind last month's peak" and was up a "solid" 53% from the same month a year ago.  

Eight of 13 commodities fell, including aluminium, which dropped 6%, apples were down 5.8%, while beef fell 5.2%. Log prices slipped 2.3%, sawn timber eased 1.7% and kiwifruit declined 1.2%.  

Among the gainers, skin prices rose 6.8%, wood pulp prices increased 4.5% and seafood prices advanced 3.2%. Wool edged up 1.5% and venison was up 1.3%.

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