Commodity Prices: a quick guide to key internet links

8 December 2017

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Gregory O'Brien
Statistics and Mapping Section

 

This Quick Guide provides a summary of key online resources which provide commodity price data. The first section provides a reference table for five key publications by commodity. The second section provides a longer list of important sources for commodity price data from both international and Australian organisations.

Commodity price data included in key sources

Table 1 provides a quick summary of the major commodity prices reported in five key publications which provide broad coverage of agricultural and resource commodities. The five sources included in the table are:

While these five sources are not comprehensive, they include the majority of the key commodities of interest to the Australian economy, are updated regularly and provide either the latest data available or long time-series data for these commodities.

Table One: Guide to commodity price data by source

Commodity IMF ABARES LME REQ WSJ
Period covered: M: From 1980
W: Last 8 weeks
Varies - from 1970 Last trading day, futures to 3 years A: Last 7 years
Q: Last 8 quarters
Most recent price
Alumina       A, M  
Aluminium M, W   D, F A, Q, M D
Bananas M, W        
Barley M, W A, M     D
Beef M, W A, Q, M     D
Butter   A     D
Canola   A      
Cheese   A     D
Coal, Thermal M, W     A, Q  
Coal, Metallurgical       A, Q  
Cocoa Beans M, W       D
Coffee M, W       D
Copper M, W   D, F A, Q, M D
Corn (Maize) M, W A, M     D
Cotton M, W A     D
Crude Oil M, W     A, Q  
Fertilisers          
Gold       A, Q D
Iron Ore M, W     A, Q D
Lamb M, W A, Q, M      
Lead M, W   D, F A, M, Q  
Manganese       A, Q  
Milk   A     D
Natural Gas M, W       D
Nickel M, W   D, F A, Q, M  
Oats   A, M     D
Olive Oil M, W        
Palm Oil M, W A      
Phosphate       A, Q D
Pork M, W A, Q, M      
Poultry (chicken) M, W A, Q      
Rapeseed Oil M, W        
Rice M, W A     D
Rubber M, W        
Silver       A, Q, M D
Sorghum   A, M     D
Soybean oil M, W       D
Soybeans M, W A     D
Sugar M, W A      
Sunflower oil M, W        
Timber M, W A      
Tin M, W   D, F A, Q, M  
Uranium M, W        
Wheat M, W A, M     D
Woodchips   A      
Wool M, W A     D
Zinc M, W   D, F A, Q, M  
           
D Daily M Monthly A Annual
W Weekly Q Quarterly F Futures

 

Publications providing commodity price data

International Organisations

The International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The International Monetary Fund provides research on primary commodity prices, including agricultural commodities, metals and energy resources. They publish the following price series:

The World Bank

The World Bank’s commodity markets portal includes long-term time series of monthly or annual prices for major global commodities, as well as long-term (10-years plus) price forecasts for these commodities. This page also provides access to the World Bank’s publications on commodity prices, the Commodity Markets Outlook, chart data from this publication, blog posts, and short articles on commodity prices.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ)

The Wall Street Journal’s market data center provides the latest daily spot prices for a wide range of energy, precious and industrial metals, agricultural and food commodities. Futures data is also available for many of these commodities.

London Metal Exchange (LME)

The London Metal Exchange provides daily closing prices from the previous trading day for the major industrial metals traded on the exchange. Also available are monthly average settlement price reports, which include futures contract pricing. The LME also produces a number of additional reports which can be accessed with a free online registration.

Australian Organisations

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Office of the Chief Economist

The Office of the Chief Economist within the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science publishes the Resources and Energy Quarterly publication. This includes a table of commodity prices (currently table 22 of the ‘historical data’ spreadsheet), with annual and monthly data (through to three months before the publication date) for selected commodities (alumina, aluminium, gold, iron ore, thermal coal, metallurgical coal, West Texas Intermediate crude oil, Brent crude oil, and metals). These tables can be downloaded under the ‘data’ heading.

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES)

ABARES produces many publications which include price data for agricultural commodities. The flagship commodity statistical publications are Agricultural commodity statistics, published annually, and Agricultural commodities, published quarterly. These publications include long time series for major agricultural commodities (the annual publication has longer time-series than the quarterly publication). Specialist publications for agricultural sectors often include more detailed price data for specific agricultural industries.

The bi-annual Australian forest and wood products statistics publication provides price indexes and trade unit values for forest and wood products.

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)

The RBA produces several aggregate indexes of commodity prices in both AUD and USD series. Indexes provided on a monthly basis include aggregate commodity prices, rural commodity prices, non-rural commodity prices, base metals prices, and bulk commodities prices. These monthly indexes provide price movement data back to 1982. Charts of these series are produced by the RBA for inclusion in the chart pack.

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA)

Meat and Livestock Australia publishes daily indicators on their webpage for key cattle and sheep prices, and provides detailed data through their statistics database on livestock prices (cattle, goat, lamb and sheep) and meat prices (export, import, retail and wholesale).

Dairy Australia

The annual Australian Dairy in Focus publication includes data on milk prices and selected other dairy product pricing.

 

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