Commodities II                  

Photo Yahoo

By Isaac Cohen*

The World Bank released, by the end of last month, the quarterly report on the outlook for commodity markets, forecasting a softening in prices both this and next year, but still above the levels reached before the pandemic.

Perhaps one of the most astonishing events in commodity markets, thus far, is the fact that oil prices have remained subdued, despite the conflicts in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. West Texas Intermediate crude prices approached $90 dollars per barrel last month but declined to less than $80 dollars per barrel during this month. Additionally for this year, the report projects “significant declines in coal and natural gas prices.”

Metal prices are projected to remain stable in 2024 and 2025, since the slowdown in housing construction in China is being compensated by industrial and infrastructure investments. The exception is gold, its role as haven amid global turbulence has generated a rush to build stockpiles that led to a price increase of more than 40 percent, between last February and April to more than $2,300 an ounce.

Finally, moderation in agricultural commodity prices is projected for 2024 and 2025, given a decrease in supply disruptions for coffee and cocoa.

*International analyst and consultant, former Director ECLAC Washington. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio, UNIVISION, TELEMUNDO and other media.

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