The ANZ Commodity Price Index fell for a fourth straight month in September meaning it's now down 4% since a peak in May.
The index fell 1.3% in September, with the prices of 10 commodities dropping, three increasing and four unchanged.
The biggest fall was in the prices of apples, down 23%, which ANZ rural economist Con Williams said was consistent with the traditional seasonal easing in fruit prices in the Northern Hemisphere as the price premium for southern exporters ends. This was also reflected in a 4% fall in kiwifruit prices.
Aluminium prices fell 4%, butter prices slipped 3%, skim milk powder prices fell 2%, and the price of logs, beef, wool and cheese all eased back 1%. Sawn timber prices slipped by a quarter of a percent.
Meanwhile, seafood prices rose half a percent in September, with rises of a quarter of a percent in sheep meat and skin prices.
The prices of wood pulp, casein, whole milk powder and venison were unchanged from August.
With the New Zealand dollar weakening against major trading currencies, when converted from the US dollar into a local currency measure the ANZ Commodity Price Index rose 0.4%, which is the first rise in NZ dollar terms since March.
"While we’ve seen a retracement in commodity prices in both local and international terms over the past few months, the overall level of both series remains elevated," Williams said.
"The level of commodity prices in world terms is 94% higher than the long-run average. In New Zealand dollar terms the NZ dollar index is 44% higher than the long-term benchmark."
"Strong commodity prices remain a key pillar of support for the economy," he added.