Front Matter

Front Matter

International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
January 1987
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    © 1987 International Monetary Fund

    Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Primary commodities: market developments and outlook / by the Commodities Division of the Research Department.

    (World economic and financial surveys)

    1. Commercial products.

    2. Raw materials.

    I. International Monetary Fund. Commodities Division.

    II. Series.

    HF1040.7.P718 1987

    ISBN 0-939934-87-6

    ISSN 0258-74440

    Serial ISSN 0891-8805

    Price: US$10.00

    (US$6.00 university libraries, faculty members, and students)

    Address orders to:

    External Relations Department, Publication Services

    International Monetary Fund, Washington, D.C. 20431


    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.


    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) in 1986 and to the factors underlying these movements. In 1986 commodity prices continued to fall in U.S. dollar terms and, to a greater degree, 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.

    Section I provides an overview of developments in commodity markets with the discussion centering 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 study is based on information available through March 1987.

    The study has been prepared by the staff of the Commodities Division of the Research Department under the direction of Nihad Kaibni, Division Chief. The study 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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