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NZ commodity prices fall 0.5 percent in July, in sixth monthly decline

Thursday 2nd August 2012

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New Zealand commodity prices fell for the sixth straight month in July, as uncertainty over the global economy and Europe's worsening debt crisis sapped demand for raw materials.

The ANZ Commodity Price Index fell 0.5 percent last month. Wool dropped 7 percent, bringing its decline over the past 12 months to 43 percent, prices for skins dropped 4 percent and beef and lamb fell 2 percent.

Dairy products, the nation's biggest export commodity, mitigated the decline, rising almost 1 percent in July. That was led by a 3 percent increase in whole milk powder, while butter fell 4 percent and skim milk powder was down 1 percent. Prices were unchanged for cheese and casein. Dairy prices have tumbled 26 percent in the past 12 months.

The ANZ survey comes after the results of the latest GlobalDairyTrade sale of dairy products showed a 3.5 percent lift in prices, only the fourth sale where prices have gained this year.

Among other commodities, aluminium, pulp, kiwifruit and log prices declined 1 percent. Prices of seafood and venison were unchanged, while sawn timber rose 1 percent and apples were up 2 percent.

The NZD commodity price index fell 3.1 percent in July, reflecting a 2.2 percent rise in the trade weighted index, and has declined 15.3 percent in the past 12 months.

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