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SYDNEY, Dec 3 AAP

December 03 2012, 5:04PM

Australia's export commodity prices rose slightly in November but are still well below their mid-2011 peak, Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) figures show.

The RBA's index of commodity prices in November was 1.7 per cent higher in foreign currency terms compared with October, when it hit a two-year low.

Despite the small bounce in November, the index was still down by 18.3 per cent from its peak in July last year.

Even after the downward trend from mid-2011, the index is still up by 191 per cent from where it was in late 2003, before a global economic recovery and China's rapid industrialisation supercharged demand for minerals.

The RBA said the main contributors to the rise in November were coking coal and iron ore, although the same minerals were responsible for the 11.6 per cent fall over the 12 months to November.

The foreign currency price index is measured in terms of special drawing rights (SDRs), an average of four major currencies - US dollar, euro, Japanese yen, and British pound.

In Australian dollar terms, the index fell by 0.1 per cent in November as a higher exchange rate offset the foreign currency price rises.

By Garry Shilson-Josling, AAP Economist