COMMODITY PRICES ADJUSTMENT
Recorded trade exports data presented for recent months in tables 12-15 of this publication are based on information initially reported by exporters to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (Customs). At the time of initial reporting to Customs the final prices may not be known for some commodities. Therefore, the information recorded for recent months for commodities like iron ore and coal can include a variety of prices including previous or current contract prices and the prevailing spot prices. New contract prices that have been recently negotiated, or are still being negotiated, are not fully reflected in the data first reported to Customs As with commodity price changes in previous years, it is expected that the decreased prices resulting from the negotiation of new contracts will be updated progressively in revised information reported to Customs and then reflected in recorded trade data.
The balance of payments data in this publication for June and July 2009 include adjustments for the anticipated price decreases for iron ore exports from April 1. As progressive revisions to the recorded trade prices are reported to Customs and then provided to the ABS they will be incorporated into the balance of payment series and the adjustment reduced accordingly.
The balance of payment series has been reduced by a $75m adjustment to July 2009. The $150m adjustment made to June 2009 iron ore exports announced in the previous issue of this publication remains. In the unadjusted recorded trade series, the value of iron ore and concentrates increased by 12% between June 2009 and July 2009 with prices up 1%. In the adjusted balance of payment series, the value of the comparable item increased 17%, with prices down 2%.
On a recorded trade basis, the July 2009 prices for metallurgical coal fell 2% and prices for non-metallurgical coal (bituminous coal) rose 7% compared to June 2009. Because coal has seen substantial decreases in prices in previous months, no adjustments have been made to the balance of payments series. This will be reviewed as future data are observed.