COMMODITY PRICES ADJUSTMENT
Recorded trade exports data presented in tables 12-15 of this publication are based on information provided by exporters to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (Customs and Border Protection). At the time of initial reporting to Customs and Border Protection the final prices may not be known for some commodities. New contract prices that have been recently negotiated, or are still being negotiated, for commodities like iron ore and coal may not be fully reflected in the Customs and Border Protection source data. It is expected that the final prices will be updated progressively in recorded trade data as exporters revise the information provided to Customs and Border Protection. It is not yet known how the recent move from annual to quarterly contracts for some exporters will impact on the reporting of information.
Balance of payments data in this publication have been adjusted for May 2010 to take into account additional information on the unit price of iron ore and coal exports. As progressive revisions to the recorded trade prices are provided to the ABS they will be incorporated into the balance of payments series.
In the unadjusted recorded trade series, the unit price of metal ores and minerals decreased by 11% (with iron ore and concentrates down 3%) between April and May 2010. The equivalent balance of payments series, metal ores and minerals, decreased 1%.
In the unadjusted recorded trade series, the unit price of coal, coke and briquettes increased by 6% (with coal, not agglomerated up 6%) between April and May 2010. The equivalent balance of payments series, coal, coke and briquettes, increased 14%.
Since the price increase is likely to result in a permanent change in the level of the series, an estimated trend break correction of $1,200m has been applied to metal ores and minerals and related aggregates. This replaces the $800m trend break correction introduced in the previous issue. An estimated trend break of $1,000m has been applied to coal, coke and briquettes and related aggregates in April 2010. 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.