Commodity prices rose for the ninth straight month in May with the new season kiwifruit crop leading the way the ANZ says, but when translated into New Zealand dollars the bank's commodity price index actually fell.
ANZ said May's 0.3% overall rise in US dollar terms was the slowest increase recorded since last September. Nine commodities recorded a rise in export prices, six commodities recorded a fall and two were unchanged.
"The new season kiwifruit crop recorded the largest increase, with the traditional start of season seeing prices 27% above last year’s season end price," ANZ economist Steve Edwards said. "Compared with the price a year ago kiwifruit prices are 19% higher."
Skin prices rose 4% and skim milk powder, lumber, cheese and sheep meat prices all increased 2%. Log and venison prices increased 1% and seafood prices were up by just a quarter of a percent.
Heading down were apple prices, dropping 7%, beef down 5%, whole milk powder fell 4% , aluminium 3%, and butter 1%. Wool prices recorded their first price fall of the year, slipping a quarter of a percent.
Wood pulp and casein prices were unchanged.
Edwards noted the New Zealand dollar had risen to its highest level (US82.5 cents) against the greenback since floating in 1985 during the month. When averaged month-over-month, he said the value of the NZD-USD exchange rate was 1.3% higher. Although when measured against our largest trading partner, Australia, the value of he NZ dollar only rose 0.1%.
"(However) when translated into NZ dollar prices, the aggregate NZD Commodity Price Index slipped 0.8%, but remains at an elevated level and 12% higher than where it stood a year ago," said Edwards.