Commodities and Development

Global extraction, trade and consumption of natural resources have increased continuously over the past 30 years. At the same time, commodity prices were characterised by strong fluctuations.

In this context, natural resources have become a key issue in international politics again. Competition for access to and control of raw materials has also intensified due to China's new role, which is also reflected in the EU's raw materials policies and trade and investment treaties.

Likewise, conflicts over the distribution of profits and the negative environmental and social impacts of raw material extraction and production are increasingly evident. At the international level, therefore, a large number of regulatory initiatives has emerged in recent years, aimed primarily at greater transparency in this sector. In addition, the discussion about legal obligations and due diligence of private actors has intensified. Most countries in the Global South are still dependent on commodity exports. Even though the commodity price boom has revived the debate on commodity-based development, in most resource-rich countries, commodity revenues have not been used for sustainable economic development, diversification and poverty reduction. Industrial policies for sustainable development have therefore become all the more urgent.

An important aspect is the controversial discussion on the link between financial investors and commodity price developments, also referred to as the "financialisation of commodity markets". In particular, the impact on prices for producers in the Global South is of central importance.

ÖFSE is engaged in three major issued concerning this subject area:


For more information contact:

Karin Küblböck

Ms. Karin Küblböck
Senior Researcher
Tel.: +43 1 317 40 10 – 111  
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Dr. Bernhard Tröster
Senior Researcher
phone: +43 1 317 40 10 – 117
1090 Vienna, Sensengasse 3
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