For two centuries, commodity prices fell ever lower in real terms with the nadir of each cycle, in what is known as the Singer-Prebisch process. The terms of trade seemed forever rigged agaisnt the primary producers.

There is a some evidence that this is finally going into reverse as scarcity takes its revenge. If so, we may find that the supercycle is still in rude good health next year as China cranks up construction again, and America turns the corner.

And never, ever ignore the global money supply. The key gauge -- real six-month M1 -- touched bottom at 1.5pc in May. It jumped to 3.7pc in September and seems on the same track for October. The world's kindling wood is crackling again. Can commodities really stay cold?

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