Gold prices in the Pacific soar

GOLD prices in the Pacific continue to trend downwards while soft commodities have climbed higher led by copra and coconut oil.

According to ANZ's Asia Pacific Research- Pacific Monthly publication for December, Pacific commodity prices have generally continued its recent trends.

The report says industrial metals, particularly copper, had trended sideways over the past few months.

"However, oil prices have rebounded from the recent sell-off last month. Gold prices continue to trend downwards and we have recently revised our forecast into 2014," the report stated.

"Notably, we do see the average price of gold lower into 2014, however, a pick up in prices is expected to be led by the official sector (central banks) offsetting private sector liquidations.

"In terms of copper, prices continue to trend sideways, still below 2010 prices. Into 2014 we are expecting more of the sale with a marginal increase of 2 per cent by the end of 2014."

ANZ says coconut and palm oil prices have continued to slowly climb higher. Copra prices have accelerated much quicker than coconut oil price, suggesting upside pressure on oil prices over the coming months.

"Officials from Indonesia have recently commented they are confident the blend of agricultural oil and diesel will reach the 10 per cent target next year, putting very least a floor on prices.

"Copra prices continue to trend higher with global fears of shortages still on the minds of the market. This is an important development for most of the Pacific with copra exports a significant share for most economies."

This rebound in prices, the bank says, will boost export revenues and bring more income to rural workers. Sugar prices were flat over the month, however still up 12 per cent over the quarter.

"Into 2014, we are constructive on the price evolution of sugar, expecting about 7 per cent in gains over the year," the report says.

"Cocoa prices have also climbed over the month with supply shortages a concern. It was the second best performing commodity in 2013."

The bank says rice prices had also trended sideways, with the risk to price evolution on the downside moving forward.

Fiji Times
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