Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Lowdown on Commodities

The current low price of commodities – especially that of crude oil - had lessened the impact of the global financial crisis to most sectors of the economy even though it will be very bad in the long run. A good time to cry wolf?

By: Ringo Bones

The world’s leading economist had already reached a consensus and had been warning us for sometime that the low prices of economies resulting in the lack of demand due to the global economic downturn. Will be bad in the long run – even if the global economy recovers sometime in the future – because producers are not making the necessary investments to expand current production to meet possible future demands. The proverbial “ticking time bombs” in the commodities market are copper and crude oil whose prices could skyrocket way pass their 2008 peak once the global economy recovers causing an increase in demand.

Violent price rises will be the norm – rather than the exception – when it comes to commodities prices when the global economy recovers around 2010 or so. Due to lack of current investment to expand production, demand for copper and crude oil in 2010 might not be met fast enough - which could be a headache to commodities trading. Especially when it comes to the demands of emerging economies in Asia like India and China whose economies are not as badly affected as those in the United States and Europe despite of the tragic job loss figures. Plus the increased affluence of consumers in Asia could also send prices of wheat, corn, and soybean skyrocketing past their 2008 levels due to these food crops being diverted into meat production as animal feed.

The world’s policymakers better start consulting their economic advisory team on how to plan ahead to avert disastrous and violent commodity price volatility in the near future. Even if the global economy eventually recovers, it could derive our poorer brethren of their daily bread if the recovery plan is ill conceived. Making that “dramatic” percentage-point rises in the global stock market a rather Pyrrhic victory for stock market traders.

No comments: