Dairying's impact on the economy was further underscored
yesterday, when price declines in three dairy commodities
overshadowed the price gains of 10 other commodities.
The ANZ commodity price index for March dipped 0.1%, despite
sheepmeat making a 9% gain to a two-year high, beef a 6%
gain, marking a 15-month high and seafood up 1%, recording a
ANZ economist Steve Edwards said the prices of cheese and
skim and whole milk powders were the three dairy commodities
to register a March decrease.
''The price of whole milk powder fell 6% in March, with the
two other dairy commodity prices declining 2%,'' he said in a
Yesterday's global dairy trade auction reported further price
decline, as more product was traded.
''It's hard to say whether this trend will continue, given
the impact of dry conditions in parts of the North Island,
with prices dependent on the supply response of overseas
producers,'' Mr Edwards said.
Commodity prices were nearly twice what they were at their
low point during the global financial crisis, as measured in
The prices of wool, pelts, wood pulp and aluminium increased
between 0.5% to 1% and logs, butter and timber prices lifted
''Whether we're at a peak will depend on the extent to which
further price rises in other export commodities can be
achieved,'' Mr Edwards said.
He also noted the strength of the New Zealand dollar prompted
a decline in commodity prices, when converted back to local
However, commodity prices in New Zealand dollar terms
remained elevated, up 12% on a year ago and only 6% below the
March 2011 peak, Mr Edwards said.