A survey of the complex and intertwined set of forces behind the various commodity markets and the interplay between these markets and the global economy. Summarizes a rich set of facts combined with in-depth analyses distillated in a nontechnical manner. Includes discussion of structural trends behind commodities markets, their future implications, and policy implications.
Mr. Geoffrey J Bannister, Mr. Manuk Ghazanchyan, and Theodore Pierre Bikoi
This paper assesses external trade statistics in Lao PDR by looking at mirror statistics, and
with reference to international experience in compilation and dissemination of external trade
data. We find that exports could be underreported by 8 to 50 percent, while imports could be
underreported by 30 to 70 percent, and the trade deficit could be 20 percent to 280 percent
higher. Underreporting is concentrated in trade with major partners, including Thailand
(17 percent of total trade), China (10 percent of total trade) and Vietnam (3 percent of total
trade). On the export side, underreporting is concentrated in wood and wood products, while
for imports it is concentrated in a much wider variety of products, including food, fuel,
vehicles, machinery, chemical products, plastics and rubber, and construction materials.
Possible sources and implications of these discrepancies are discussed.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses continued modernization of the Malian tax system and administration of natural resources. The Malian mining sector essentially consists of gold mining. The diversification policy is a failure at this point. The authorities’ stated objective of diversifying mining production has not produced a clear, consistent action plan. Apart from precious substances, the high cost of bulk transportation (minerals), the technical and financial difficulties of local processing, and the weak domestic market make it unlikely that Mali’s mining future can be defined other than by gold in the short or medium term.
Mr. Amadou N Sy, Mr. Rabah Arezki, and Thorvaldur Gylfason
Countries with an abundance of natural resources, many of which are in sub-Saharan Africa, often show a record of relatively poor economic performance compared with non-resource-rich countries. The chapters in this volume explore the potential challenges to countries with abundant natural resources and ways to manage these challenges so as to reap the benefits of resource wealth while avoiding the pitfalls. The book is divided into five sections, which explore commodity markets and the macroeconomy, economic diversification and the role of finance, fiscal policy, exchange rates and financial stability, and governance. The ideas in this book were first presented at a seminar in November 2010 that was aimed primarily at policymakers in sub-Saharan Africa and brought together ministers, central bank governors, other senior policymakers, and well-known academics.
How does a commodity market adjust to a temporary scarcity shock which causes a shift in the slope of the futures price curve? We find long-run relationships between spot and futures prices, inventories and interest rates, which means that such shocks lead to an adjustment back towards a stable equilibrium. We find evidence that the adjustment is somewhat consistent with well-known theoretical models, such as Pindyck (2001); in other words, spot prices rise and then fall, while inventories are used to absorb the shock. Importantly, the pace and nature of the adjustment depends upon whether inventories were initially high or low, which introduces significant nonlinearities into the adjustment process.
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
In this study, the following are listed: GDP by sector and expenditure, gross industrial output by sector, employment by sector, industrial employment by sector, indicators of hidden unemployment, selected labor market indicators, unemployment rate by regions, consumer price inflation and CPI weights, industrial producer prices, wages, pensions and per capita income, federal government budget execution, regional and local government operations, extrabudgetary fund operations, monetary surveys, balance of payment projections, origin of imports, composition of merchandise imports, foreign currency disbursements to the federal government, and nonsovereign/sector financial account.
This paper formalizes Irving Fisher’s century-old model of bimetallism and adds the important “disequilibrium” dynamics to deal with the long periods during which bimetallic countries were on effective monometallic standards. It resolves a long standing puzzle in the bimetallic literature regarding the remarkable stability of the gold/silver price ratio in the nineteenth century by modeling the bimetallic mint ratio as a regulating barrier to the gold/silver price ratio. It thus provides a clean-cut example of a target-zone model that—in contrast to other such models in the literature—exhibits the main predicted nonlinearities in the data. This is a Paper on Policy Analysis and Assessment and the author(s) would welcome any comments on the present text. Citations should refer to a Paper on Policy Analysis and Assessment of the International Monetary Fund, mentioning the author(s) and the date of issuance. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Fund.
Using the international input-output tables between Japan and five Pacific Basin countries (Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand) for the years 1975 and 1985, the paper examines the trade structure in 1975 and how it had shifted by 1985. It shows that intra-industry trade in manufactured products expanded as Japan increased imports of more capital-intensive products from these countries. Intra-industry trade of intermediate inputs increased substantially more than of final products, reflecting a trend by manufacturers to subdivide the production process of intermediate inputs and to shift their locations to different countries. This suggests a more active development of international labor in the intermediate stages of production and a deepening of regional linkages.
Mr. Eduardo Borensztein, Mr. Peter Wickham, Mr. Mohsin S. Khan, and Ms. Carmen Reinhart
This paper analyzes global commodity trends and concludes that the marked decline in real commodity prices of the past decade should be regarded as largely permanent and irreversible. The authors contend that the analysis of commodity prices should be extended to include the role of the breakdown of major international commodity agreements. In addition, the authors analyze how developments in the former Soviet Union have affected commodity supply conditions.