Special edition 2018

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Raw materials

Current policy influences on commodity prices

By Katrin Knauf

Political decisions have influenced prices on the international commodity markets in this year. The decision by US President Donald Trump to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran caused the price of crude oil to rise to $ 80 per barrel in May. In June, due to the announcement of the OPEC to fully meet the own production quota in the future, the crude oil prices fell slightly in the following months. In April, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Russian aluminum producer RUSAL. As a result, the price of aluminum rose sharply in April.

In the following months, prices for aluminum and other industrial commodities dropped in view of the increasing trade conflict between the US, China and the EU. Uncertainty about the implications of current US foreign policy currently weighs on global trade. Above all, the economic development of China is rather negatively influenced by the current developments. Furthermore, the depreciation of national currencies against the US dollar, such as the Turkish lira, the Russian ruble or the Brazilian real, is affecting the international commodity markets.

Concerns over the economic consequences of these policy developments caused commodity prices to move downward in August. In August the HWWI commodity price index fell to 133 points.

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About index

The HWWI Index of World Market Prices of Commodities, a product of the HWWI Consult GmbH, provides an all-encompassing gauge of current price trends in commodity markets, and has been included in statistical databases of national and international institutions. It is updated regularly with daily figures being calculated once every week and is available on a paid subscription basis.