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IMF Primary Commodity Prices


Blog: Metals and Oil: A Tale of Two Commodities

Rabah Arezki and Akito Matsumoto

September 14, 2015

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” With these words Charles Dickens opens his novel “A Tale of Two Cities”. Winners and losers in a “tale of two commodities” may one day look back with similar reflections, as prices of metals and oil have seen some seismic shifts in recent weeks, months and years. This blog seeks to explain how demand — but also supply and financial market conditions — are affecting metals prices. >>


Blog: Seven Questions About the Recent Oil Price Slump

Rabah Arezki and Olivier Blanchard

December 22, 2014

Oil prices have plunged recently, affecting everyone: producers, exporters, governments, and consumers. Overall, we see this as a shot in the arm for the global economy. There is however much more to this complex and evolving story. In this blog we examine the mechanics of the oil market now and in the future, the implications for various groups of countries as well as for financial stability, and how policymakers should address the impact on their economies. >>


Special Feature: Commodity Market Developments and Forecasts, with a Focus on Investment in an Era of Low Oil Prices

Rabah Arezki, Akito Matsumoto, Shane Streifel and Hongyan Zhao

from World Economic Outlook: April 2015

Commodity prices have fallen markedly since the release of the October 2014 World Economic Outlook (WEO), led by a dramatic drop in crude oil prices driven by both supply and demand factors. Metal prices have fallen because of slowing demand growth in China and significant increases in the supply of most metals. Food prices have declined mostly on account of favorable harvests. >>


News Shocks in Open Economies: Evidence from Giant Oil Discoveries

Rabah Arezki, Valerie A. Ramey and Liugang Sheng

IMF Working Paper: September 29, 2015

This paper explores the effect of news shocks on the current account and other macroeconomic variables using worldwide giant oil discoveries as a directly observable measure of news shocks about future output ̶ the delay between a discovery and production is on average 4 to 6 years. After an oil discovery, the current account and saving rate decline for the first 5 years and then rise sharply during the ensuing years. Investment rises robustly soon after the news arrives, while GDP does not increase until after 5 years. Employment rates fall slightly for a sustained period of time. >>

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Primary Commodity Price

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Last update: October 05, 2015

Note: Change to natural gas price units

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The Commodities Team of the Research Department provides information on primary commodity market developments. Questions about these tables may be directed to