The ANZ Commodity Price Index rose 4.7% in March, its seventh straight monthly rise in a row to yet another record high.
ANZ economist Steve Edwards said the March rise topped any of the preceding six monthly increases with 14 commodity prices measured by the index rising and three unchanged.
"For the first time in seventeen years there wasn’t a single decrease in the price of any individual commodity in the basket of 17 commodities that we monitor," Edwards said.
The price of wool strengthened 12 percent in March, with prices having doubled in the past 12 months. Whole milk powder prices also rose 12 percent, ahead of a 7 percent rise in skim milk powder prices. Lumber and skin prices also increased by 7 percent rise in the month.
Beef and log prices grew 3 percent in the month; lamb, casein, butter and aluminium prices lifted 2 percent; venison and cheese prices rose 1 percent; and seafood prices increased by ½ percent.
The export prices of wood pulp, kiwifruit and apples were unchanged over the month.
The value of the New Zealand dollar weakened in March. Consequently the rise in the locally priced ANZ NZD Commodity Price Index (converted from the US dollar), was magnified, lifting 8.1 percent from the preceding month, to an all time high.
The NZ dollar priced commodity index is 25 percent higher than its level a year ago, and nearly double the low point recorded in February 2009, which followed the global financial crisis.
The New Zealand economy is poised to benefit from the increased rural income that will inevitably filter through the economy.
Soft rural land values and a strong focus on the balance sheet has curtailed the benefit to the broader economy. This will not continue indefinitely. It is only a matter of time before this rejuvenation spills over into other pockets of the economy.