MNI BRIEF: Aussie Export Prices Drop; First Time in 8 Quarters
Australia's Export Price Index dropped for the first time in eight quarters in Q3, slowing as Chinese demand for iron ore weighed on exports, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics Thursday.
The Export Price Index fell 3.6%, paced by a 16.9% decline in prices for metalliferous ores and metal scrap fell 16.9% as a slowdown in China's housing market sapped demand for iron ore. Coal, coke and briquettes fell 6.2% in the quarter as weaker steel demand weighed on metallurgical coal prices. Despite the decline in the September quarter, the Export Price Index rose 25.9% y/y.
Australia's Treasury has forecast the iron ore price will fall from USD91 a tonne to its assumed long-term level of USD55 a tonne by the end of March 2023, according to Budget papers released on Oct 25. However, a slower decline could add USD43.8 billion to nominal GDP over 2022-23 and 2023-24. Iron ore is a key export earner but the Australian dollar's correlation with the price of the steel-making raw material has dropped. (See AUD : A$ Correlation With Iron Ore Dips Sharply) The Import Price Index rose 3% in the quarter, marking a third consecutive quarter of smaller price increases on higher prices for electrical machinery, inorganic chemicals and apparel. The Import Price Index rose 19.3% y/y.