Are Real Commodity Prices at multi-century Lows?

The graph below, courtesy of BHP Billiton CEO Chip Goodyear, was compiled from a variety of sources, including the US All Commodities Producer Price Index, US Consumer Price Inflation, US Bureau of the Census, Historical Statistics of the United States, and the Colonial Times, to 1970.

A small move on the graph represents several decades. According to the graph’s creator, "we find ourselves at a period of time which is, or rather close to it anyway, 2001/2002 when real commodity prices were the lowest they’ve been in the last 200 years which essentially puts them at the lowest price they’ve been in known history.”

click for larger graph


Chart courtesy of Mineweb


The  International Monetary Fund reached a similar conclusion — two years ago.

Cycles in Real Price of Industrial Commodities, 1862–1999

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Chart courtesy of IMF

Notes: Shaded portions denote the boom phase, and unshaded portions the slump phase, of each
commodity-price cycle. A boom (slump) is defined as a sequence of absolute increases (decreases) in the real price of industrial commodities.


Nominal and Real Price Indexes Industrial Commodities, 1862–1999
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Chart courtesy of IMF

The graph everyone’s talking about
Barry Sergeant
Mineweb, ’25-AUG-05 11:00

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