6457.0 - International Trade Price Indexes, Australia, Dec 2017 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/02/2018   
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COMMENTARY


IMPORT PRICE INDEX

The Import Price Index rose 2.0% in the December quarter 2017. This follows a fall in the September quarter 2017 of 1.6%.

The rise was driven by higher prices paid for Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials (+14.0%), reflecting tightening worldwide supply due to global production restrictions and capacity constraints. This pricing pressure has flowed through to a rise in Organic Chemicals (+10.0%) which are derived from Petroleum.

Fertilisers (excluding crude) rose 23.1% and Inorganic Chemicals rose 13.1%. China’s environmental policies regulating coal intensive industries are putting upward pressure on prices of a number of industrial commodities.

These rises were partly offset by falls in Telecommunication equipment (-1.8%).

Through the year to the December quarter 2017, the Import Price Index rose 1.4%, driven by Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials (+17.0%).


MAJOR IMPORT PRODUCTS

The price movements of Australia's major import products are summarised below:

  • Road vehicles (SITC 78) (+0.3%);
  • Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials (SITC 33) (+14.0%);
  • Telecommunications and sound recording equipment and reproducing apparatus and equipment (SITC 76) (-1.8%);
  • General industrial machinery and equipment, n.e.s. (SITC 74) (-0.2%);
  • Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, n.e.s. (SITC 77) (+1.2%)


EXPORT PRICE INDEX

The Export Price Index rose 2.8% in the December quarter 2017. This follows a fall in the September quarter 2017 of 3.0%.

Prices received for many of Australia's mineral fuel commodities rose in the December quarter 2017. Coal, coke and briquettes rose 9.0% driven by demand from China for higher quality coal and supply restrictions. Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials rose 19.7% reflecting tightening worldwide supply due to global production restrictions and capacity constraints.

Non Ferrous metals prices rose 9.8%, driven by rises in Copper, Aluminium, Nickel, Zinc and Lead due to strong global demand.

Cereals and cereal preparations rose 7.3%, due to increased demand for wheat and barley from Asia and the Middle East.

Gold, non-monetary rose 2.5%, driven by the depreciation of the Australian dollar against the US dollar.

Offsetting the rises were falls in Meat and meat preparations (-3.6%), driven by beef, Gas, natural or manufactured (-1.8%) and Sugar, sugar preparations and honey (-15.5%).

Through the year to the December quarter 2017, the Export Price Index rose 2.4%, driven by Non-ferrous metals (+18.3%) and Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials (+22.0%).


MAJOR EXPORT PRODUCTS

The price movements of Australia's major export products are summarised below:
  • Metalliferous ores and metal scrap (SITC 28) (-0.2%);
  • Coal, coke and briquettes (SITC 32) (+9.0%);
  • Gas, natural and manufactured (SITC 34) (-1.8%)
  • Gold, non-monetary (SITC 97) (+2.5%);
  • Meat and meat preparations (SITC 01) (-3.6%);