Keynote Address: Commodity Prices Into The New Millennium
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 2000
The traditional view taken of commodity prices is that they are cyclical, with strong demand boosting prices and attracting new suppliers. The resulting increased supply pushes prices down with consequent exit of the higher cost producers. And so the process repeats itself. Little attention is given to shifts in underlying global issues and their effect on the traditional process which is seen as being controlled by ?amorphous? market forces with producers profiting from the good times and trying to survive in the bad.. The questions posed are: does this still apply and will it apply into the future? What new factors are affecting the cycles? Can we expect to find the traditional commodity cycles repeated in the 21stcentury? Are producers powerless within the forces of the cycles? Forces likely to affect future commodity prices will be suggested, using gold, zinc, copper, tin and coal as case studies. The long-term downward trend in the real price of commodities is identified.