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. 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 2009 include an adjustment 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 payments series and the adjustment reduced accordingly.
The balance of payments series has been reduced by a $150m adjustment to June 2009. However, the adjustments made to April and May 2009 iron ore exports announced in the previous issue of this publication have been removed as revised reporting to Customs appears to reflect new contract prices. In the unadjusted recorded trade series, the value of iron ore and concentrates decreased by 5% between May 2009 and June 2009 with prices up 2%. In the adjusted balance of payment series, the value of the comparable item decreased 11%, with prices down 5%.
On a recorded trade basis, the June 2009 prices for metallurgical coal fell 13% and prices for non-metallurgical coal (bituminous coal) fell 8% compared to May 2009. Because of these falls in price, and historical patterns showing that adjustments to coal prices occur progressively, no adjustments have been made to the balance of payments series. This will be reviewed as future data are observed.