Rural business boosts the economy



New Zealand commodity prices rose for a second month in September, in the strongest monthly gain in a year-and-a-half, led by skim milk powder and aluminium.

The largest increase was shared by skim milk powder and aluminium, both up 11 per cent, followed by butter and whole milk powder up 8 per cent, wool and apple prices gaining 6 per cent, cheese climbing 5 per cent, venison up 2 per cent and logs and beef rising 0.5 per cent.

The price of pelts bucked the trend falling 10 per cent, with casein and kiwifruit prices down 2 per cent. Lamb prices eased 1 per cent.

In New Zealand dollar terms, the commodity price index rose for the first month in nine, up 3 per cent.

The strong kiwi dollar has damped the potential returns for local exporters, recently trading near its recent six month high of 82.81 US cents.

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