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Determinants of Agricultural and Mineral Commodity Prices

In: Inflation in an Era of Relative Price Shocks

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Author Info

  • Jeffrey A Frankel

    (John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University)

  • Andrew K Rose

    (University of California, Berkeley)

Abstract

Prices of most agricultural and mineral commodities rose strongly in the past decade, peaking sharply in 2008. Popular explanations included strong global growth (especially from China and India), easy monetary policy (as reflected in low real interest rates or expected inflation), a speculative bubble (resulting from bandwagon expectations) and risk (possibly resulting from geopolitical uncertainties). Motivated in part by this episode, this paper presents a theory that allows a role for macroeconomic determinants of real commodity prices, along the lines of the “overshooting†model: the resulting model includes global GDP and the real interest rate as macroeconomic factors. Our model also includes microeconomic determinants; we include inventory levels, measures of uncertainty, and the spot-forward spread. We estimate the equation in a variety of different ways, for eleven individual commodities. Although two macroeconomic fundamentals – global output and inflation – both have positive effects on real commodity prices, the fundamentals that seem to have the most consistent and strongest effects are microeconomic variables: volatility, inventories, and the spot-forward spread. There is also some evidence of a bandwagon effect.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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Bibliographic Info

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This chapter was published in: Renée Fry & Callum Jones & Christopher Kent (ed.) Inflation in an Era of Relative Price Shocks, Reserve Bank of Australia, pages , 2010.

This item is provided by Reserve Bank of Australia in its series RBA Annual Conference Volume with number acv2009-02.

Handle: RePEc:rba:rbaacv:acv2009-02

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Related research

Keywords: commodity prices; economic growth; bandwagon expectations; risk;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ratti, Ronald A & Vespignani, Joaquin L., 2012. "Crude Oil Prices and Liquidity, the BRIC and G3 countries," Working Papers 15727, University of Tasmania, School of Economics and Finance, revised 17 Dec 2012.
  2. Claudio Morana, 2013. "Oil price dynamics, macro-finance interactions and the role of financial speculation," Working Papers 225, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2013.
  3. Avalos, Fernando, 2014. "Do oil prices drive food prices? The tale of a structural break," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 253-271.
  4. Silvennoinen, Annastiina & Thorp, Susan, 2013. "Financialization, crisis and commodity correlation dynamics," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 42-65.
  5. Ratti, Ronald & Vespignani, Joaquin, 2012. "Liquidity and crude oil prices: China’s influence over 1996-2011," Working Papers 15062, University of Tasmania, School of Economics and Finance, revised 20 Sep 2012.
  6. Alessio Anzuini & Marco J. Lombardi & Patrizio Pagano, 2012. "The impact of monetary policy shocks on commodity prices," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 851, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  7. Ronald A. Ratti & Joaquin L. Vespignani, 2014. "Oil prices and the economy: A global perspective," CAMA Working Papers 2014-41, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  8. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2013. "Effects of Speculation and Interest Rates in a “Carry Trade” Model of Commodity Prices," NBER Working Papers 19463, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Gospodinov, Nikolay & Jamali, Ibrahim, 2013. "Monetary policy surprises, positions of traders, and changes in commodity futures prices," Working Paper 2013-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  10. Scott H. Irwin & Dwight R. Sanders, 2011. "Index Funds, Financialization, and Commodity Futures Markets," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 33(1), pages 1-31.

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