Front Matter

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
January 1986
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    © 1986 International Monetary Fund

    International Standard Serial Numbers: ISBN 0-939934-72-8

    ISSN 0258-7440

    Address orders to:

    External Relations Department

    Attention Publications

    International Monetary Fund,

    Washington, D.C. 20431

    U.S.A.

    Tel: (202)-623-7430 Cable: Interfund

    Contents

    • The following symbols have been used throughout this paper:

    • … to indicate that data are not available;

    • — to indicate that the figure is zero or less than half the final digit shown, or that the item does not exist;

    • - between years or months (e.g., 1984-85 or January-June) to indicate the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months;

      / between years (e.g., 1985/86) to indicate a crop or fiscal (financial) year.

      “Billion” means a thousand million.

      Minor discrepancies between constituent figures and totals are due to rounding.

    Preface

    This study provides an analysis of recent developments relating to the major non-fuel primary commodities (hereafter referred to as commodities) entering international trade. Particular attention is given to market price movements (which are expressed in U.S. dollars, unless otherwise indicated) from mid-1984 through 1985 and to the factors underlying these movements. In this period commodity prices fell considerably, both in U.S. dollars and in real terms. Supply factors as well as changes in world economic activity, inflation, and exchange rates are discussed in the context of their contribution to the movements in commodity prices.

    The study was prepared by the staff of the Commodities Division of the Research Department under the direction of Nihad Kaibni, Division Chief. The Commodities Division also presented a summary of developments in overall commodity price movements in Supplementary Note 3 of the World Economic Outlook, April 1986. In addition to providing a broader perspective on historical developments and earnings from commodity exports, this study contains analyses of developments for individual commodities and commodity groups. Section I provides an overview of developments in commodity markets with the discussion centered around price movements as measured by the IMF commodity price indices. Sections II through V provide assessments of developments relating to individual commodities. Section II covers food commodities, Section III beverages, Section IV agricultural raw materials (including tropical timber), and Section V metals (and phosphate rock). The construction of the IMF commodity price indices is explained in an appendix.

    The study, based on information available through March 1986, has benefited from comments by other Fund staff members and from the editing by David Driscoll of the Editorial Division, External Relations Department. The analyses undertaken and the projections made are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Fund.

    It should be noted that the term “country” used in this document does not in all cases refer to a territorial entity that is a state as understood by international law and practice. The term also covers some territorial entities that are not states but for which statistical data are maintained and provided internationally on a separate and independent basis.

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