Why commodities are cheap.

A populair view why commodities are cheap does focus on deflation in general. Deflationists tell a story about the commodities bubble that popped in 2008, around the same time the banking crisis hit the financial markets. Maybe accurate during that time, but this is a narrative of the past. It is no longer helpful when you take a look at commodity charts nowadays. These type of stocks are completely beaten down and have formed huge bottom formations since 2011/12.  How much more deflation do you expect to get here? I don’t know, but those charts give you a hint that it won’t be much.

Another, more accurate view is the globalization that directed the world economy and trade during the past 40 years. As result of ongoing globalization manufacturing has moved overseas to cheaper labor countries. That impacted the commodity trade as not only labour costs are lower than in western countries, there’re also less regulations that drive up the costs to produce. In short: there was no economic incentive driving up commodity prices. 

The election of Trump (US) and Jonhson (UK) started the area of more nationalist oriented policies in the West. Plus we are now dealing with the disruptive effects of Corona policies on global supply and demand chains. The Corona crisis illustrates the fragile state of western economies relying on foreign producers for crucial supply of goods. My guess that this triggers economic incentives that will drive commodity prices upwards as mining and production will make a comeback in Western countries. 

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