New Zealand Commodity Export Prices Fall for a Sixth Month

Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- New Zealand’s commodity export prices fell for a sixth month in November, the longest stretch of declines since the economy contracted in 2008 and early 2009.

Prices fell 1 percent from October, according to an ANZ National Bank Ltd. index released in Wellington today. In New Zealand dollar terms, prices rose 1.2 percent.

New Zealand’s currency has slumped about 8.5 percent against the U.S. dollar in the past three months as Europe’s debt crisis threatens a global slowdown. The slide helps counter lower commodity prices and cushions any decline in export incomes, Finance Minister Bill English said this week.

The commodity-price index in New Zealand dollar terms “remains elevated at 27 percent above the 10-year average recorded from 2000-2009,” ANZ said in the e-mailed report. Prices are 6.2 percent higher than a year earlier in those terms, it said.

Twelve commodities recorded falls in the month, one rose and four were unchanged, ANZ said. The decline was led by butter, cheese, aluminum and wool, it said.

New Zealand’s terms of trade index, which measures the price of exports relative to imports, fell for the first time in two years in the third quarter, according to a government report earlier today. It reached a 37-year high in the second quarter.

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