Global commodity prices declining, UNCTAD report says


The trend of increasing commodity prices, which lasted for about 10 years between 2003 and 2012 has given way to lower global prices, according to the latest United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s publication entitled Commodities and Development Report 2017.
This report examines the interactions between commodity prices, economic growth and human development.
Findings show that there is a belief prices will remain relatively low in the medium term, as growth in emerging economies has decelerated and, in general, commodity supply has not fully adjusted to weaker demand.
These events have renewed global interest in the relationship between commodity prices on the one hand and economic and human development on the other hand, particularly in Commodity-Dependent Developing Countries (CDDCs), a group that represents more than two-thirds of all developing countries from all regions. In these countries, the evolution of commodity prices has a direct effect on their economic and human development.
In line with the 2030 Development Agenda and in order to inform policy makers on the expected effects of commodity prices on socio-economic indicators by 2030, a simulation model is used to project the trajectory of the world economy and commodity prices to 2030.
From this analysis, the report draws a number of lessons and proposes policy options to address commodity dependence and its effects on socio-economic development. Several country-level commodity case studies are used to illustrate these effects.
It is stated that this report is of relevance for discussions about how developments in the global market, and particularly the evolution of commodity markets, help or hinder CDDCs socio-economic development.
The report was launched this week at the Economic Commission for Africa during at a high level dialogue on dependence on raw materials to industrialization: practical step for African countries. The meeting brought together ministers and high-level government officials from five countries that have large mining sectors and also included Ethiopia.