BUSINESS

Scotiabank Commodity Price Index Hits 8-Year Low

02/23/2015 10:44 EST | Updated 02/23/2015 11:59 EST
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Oil pumps work at sunset in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. The price of oil suffered its biggest drop in nearly two years after the International Energy Agency reduced its forecast for demand for this year and next. Benchmark U.S. crude fell $3.90, or 4.5 percent, to close at $81.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the biggest decline since November 2012. The closing price is the lowest since June 2012. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

TORONTO — Scotiabank's monthly index of commodity prices has plunged to its lowest since January 2007.

The bank says global economic conditions are better than during the 2008-09 global downturn, but an extended period of sub-par growth has increased competition and pushed down commodity prices.

Scotiabank says a recent spike in the U.S. dollar against most currencies has also contributed to the decline.

The bank's broadest commodity price index fell to 100.9 points in January, down 8.6 per cent from December and down 27.9 per cent from January 2013.

The oil and gas subindex had the biggest drop, falling by 21.5 per cent of the one-month period. Indexes covering the mining, forestry and agriculture sectors also fell.

Scotiabank says a benchmark price for Canadian heavy oil _ which usually trades at a discount to other types of crude _ dropped to US$30.49 per barrel, down from US$43.28 in December and a 2014 high of US$86.57 in June.

Also on HuffPost:

The Oilsands In Winter