Commodity-dependent countries in the COVID-19 crisisBernhard Tröster
Wien, May 2020
Commodity markets have reacted to the COVID-19 crisis with drastic price movements and changes in production and demand. As the vast majority of countries in the Global South are persistently dependent on commodities, these countries face the serious risk that the simultaneous crises in health, financial and commodity sectors mutually reinforce each other. This article outlines the current commodity price developments and the underlying fundamental drivers for supply and demand, but also discusses the dynamics in financial commodity markets. Policy responses need to minimize short-term risks, including possible food crises, but also address the diversification of economic structures in commodity-dependent countries. However, this also requires a restart of the debates on the functioning of global commodity markets and pricing to create the necessary stable conditions for such a transformation.