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Commodity market outlook, January 2013 (Inglês)

Commodity prices ended 2012 close to where they began, but major global events created significant upward and downward price movements through the course of the year. The first half of 2012 brought declines in most commodity prices, especially energy and metals as European sovereign debt troubles intensified and emerging economies, especially China, slowed. Price pressures were distinctly upward in the second half of the year, however. Maize and wheat prices spiked as parts of the United States, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia were gripped by a summer heat wave. Crude oil prices were driven up after an EU embargo on Iranian oil imports went into effect in July and violence and political instability continued in several oil-producing countries in the Middle East. In addition, renewed monetary policy easing by the central banks of the EU and the United States as well as weakness of the US dollar put upward pressure on industrial commodities. Most commodity prices are expected to ease marginally in 2013. The forecast presented in this report indicates that crude oil will average US$102/bbl in 2013, just 3 percent lower than in 2012. Agricultural commodity prices are also forecast to decline: food by 3.2 percent, beverages by 4.7 percent, and raw materials by 2.2 percent. Metal prices are expected to rise slightly but still average 14 percent lower than in 2011. Fertilizer prices are set to decline 2.9 percent, while precious metal prices will increase almost 2 percent. The 2013 commodity market outlook is subject to a number of risks. In regards to crude oil, global supply risks remain from ongoing political unrest in the Middle East. A major supply cutoff could limit supplies and result in prices spiking above US$150/bbl. For metals, prices depend importantly on economic conditions in China, which accounts for almost half of global metal consumption. Should conditions there deteriorate, metal prices could decline substantially. Weather is a key risk for agricultural commodities. Given historically low stocks, a major adverse weather event would induce sharp increases in maize prices. Wheat prices may come under upward pressure as well. In contrast, better-supplied rice and oilseed markets face limited upside price risks.


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    Commodity market outlook, January 2013

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