Rebound Of Industrial Raw Material Prices Stronger Than Expected
World market prices for industrial raw materials have picked up strongly since early 1994. On annual average, the increase over 1993 is estimated at 16 percent. Major reasons for the rebound are the business cycle recovery and inventory build-up in industrialized countries, supply cuts, and speculative purchases. Commodity prices are generally expected to continue rising throughout 1995 and into early 1996. Projections for industrial raw materials are for an increase of 17 percent in 1995 and of 2 percent in the first quarter of 1996. Price hikes in 1995 are expected to be strongest for agricultural commodities (+20 percent). Quotations for pulp may move up by as much as 33 percent, due to supply shortages for timber on the one hand and the cyclical strengthening of demand on the other. Sawn timber is projected to go up by 18 percent; here, too, prices reflect more scarce supply. Prices for cotton in 1994 were affected by higher world import demand caused by poor harvests in major producer countries like China and India, leading to an average price increase of approximately 25 percent. In 1995, quotations may go up by a further 9 percent, despite an expected increase in aggregate supply. Prices of wool, having risen by 43 percent in 1994, may increase another 23 percent. Non-ferrous metals are projected to become 17 percent more expensive in 1995, with lead topping the increase (+22 percent). Copper prices (+18 percent in 1994, +20 percent in 1995) are being pushed upward by strong demand in the U.S. and in South-East Asia, and by the recovery in Europe. Aluminum prices may rise by 19 percent while nickel (+12 percent), zinc (+9 percent), and tin (+3 percent) should register below-average price increases. Austrian imports of industrial raw materials, on a schilling basis, recorded a lower rate of inflation in 1994 (first to third quarter +7.9 percent year-over-year) than world market prices on a dollar basis. This is explained partly by the weakening of the dollar and partly by a structural composition effect of Austrian commodity imports.
Industrierohstoffpreise erholen sich stärker als erwartet. Entwicklung und Prognose der Weltmarktpreise von Industrierohstoffen; Rebound Of Industrial Raw Material Prices Stronger Than Expected
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