The boom in mineral markets: How long might it last?
The commodity price boom that emerged in 2004 has proved far more persevering than its predecessors of 1950 and 1973. Some analysts have suggested that it may represent the start of a "supercycle" caused by the voracious raw materials demand from China and other emerging economies, with prices remaining high for 20-30 years. We offer an alternative explanation. For a variety of reasons, the establishment of new capacity in minerals and energy to match the accelerated demand trends is more time consuming than commonly assumed, and may take a decade or longer. As soon as the new capacity is in place, however, the boom will be punctuated. Prices may collapse much earlier in the event of a severe recession that cuts the growth in commodity demand.
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