RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

Commodity prices rebound over first half of year

30th July 2009 Print
New research by Halifax shows that commodity prices rebounded over the first half of the year amid increasing optimism regarding the prospects for the global economy.

Commodity prices rose by an average of 10% during the first six months of 2009. In contrast, retail prices increased by 0.2% over the same period.

At a sector level (i.e. precious metals, base metals, energy and agriculture), base metals recorded the sharpest price rise over the past six months (52%), boosted by resilient demand from China. Energy prices (43%) recorded the second highest increase. Agricultural prices fell by 1%.

16 of the 20 commodities tracked saw a price increase over the period, highlighting the broad nature of the recent rally. Lead recorded the largest increase (82%), rising from $949 per tonne in December 2008 to $1,730 per tonne in June 2009. Copper saw the second highest rise (76%) followed by crude oil (57%). At the other end of the scale, the price of natural gas fell by 35%; this decline was partly due to supply improvements.

Suren Thiru, economist at Halifax, commented: "Commodity prices have rallied somewhat since the start of the year, following the rapid falls in the second half of 2008. Growing optimism that the global economy is on the road to recovery and the weakness in the value of the US dollar have been important drivers behind the price rises."

"However, the recent rally must be put into context with prices still a third lower than a year ago. Looking forward, commodity prices are expected to remain relatively subdued in the medium term with any sustained price recovery likely to be driven by demand from China and India due to the ongoing industrialisation taking place in both countries."