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5368.0 - International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia, Jun 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/07/2008   
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COMMODITY PRICES ADJUSTMENT


PRICES ADJUSTMENT

Exports data presented in tables 12 -15 of this publication are based on information reported by exporters to the Australian Customs Service (ACS). At the time of reporting the final prices may not be known for some commodities. Therefore, the information recorded for commodities like iron ore and coal can include prices ranging from levels consistent with contract prices that were set from 1 April 2007 to levels generally consistent with the prevailing spot prices. New contract price increases that have been recently negotiated, or are still being negotiated, are not fully reflected in the ACS source data. As with negotiated prices in previous years, it is expected that the increased prices obtained from the negotiation of new contracts will be updated progressively in recorded trade data back to 1 April 2008 as exporters revise the information provided to ACS.

The balance of payments data in this publication for April, May and June 2008 include adjustments for the anticipated price increases for iron ore and coal exports from 1 April. As progressive revisions to the recorded trade prices are provided to the ABS they will be incorporated into the balance of payments series. The adjustments are based on observed reporting patterns from previous increases in contract prices.


COAL

In the unadjusted recorded trade series, the unit price of coal increased by 28% between March quarter 2008 and April 2008. In the adjusted balance of payments series, prices for coal reflect a 57% increase. Quantities are the same in both series.

The following table shows the percentage increase in average unit value coal prices from March quarter 2008 to April, May and June 2008. The increases are shown for both the recorded trade series and the balance of payments (BoP) series which include the adjusted prices.

Table 1 Increase in Coal prices from March quarter 2008

April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
%
%
%

Hard Coking
Recorded trade
22
44
98
BoP Basis
72
91
111
Semi Soft
Recorded trade
45
94
115
BoP Basis
70
94
115
Thermal
Recorded trade
22
28
37
BoP Basis
28
40
49
TOTAL
Recorded trade
28
51
84
BoP Basis
57
77
95


An estimated trend break correction of $960m has been applied in April 2008 to coal, coke and briquettes and related aggregates. As a minimum of three months are required for a trend break correction to be accurately estimated, the size of the trend break may be revised. Therefore, users should interpret the trend estimates for recent months with caution.


IRON ORE

The following table shows the percentage increase between average unit value iron ore prices from March quarter 2008 to April, May and June 2008. The increases are shown for both the recorded trade and BoP series.

Table 2 Increase in Iron ore prices from March quarter 2008

April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
%
%
%

Iron Ore
Recorded trade
20
20
21
BoP Basis
62
54
54


An estimated trend break of $725m has been applied in April 2008 to metal ores and minerals and related aggregates.


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