Roller coaster and sunset.

Le Montagne Russe delle Commodity

CAMBRIDGE – Il super-ciclo globale delle commodity non è certo un fenomeno nuovo. Anche se i dettagli variano, gli esportatori di materie prime tendono a mettere in scena la stessa storia, e i risultati economici tendono a seguire modelli riconoscibili. Ma l’elemento di prevedibilità nella traiettoria del ciclo del prezzo delle merci primarie, così come nel percorso di un ottovolante, non ne rende le evoluzioni più facili da sopportare.

Dalla fine del XVIII secolo, ci sono state sette o otto espansioni nei prezzi delle materie prime non petrolifere, in relazione al prezzo dei manufatti. (Il numero esatto dipende da come si definiscono gli alti e bassi). Le fasi espansionistiche di solito hanno avuto durate di 7-8 anni, anche se quella iniziata nel 1933 ha abbracciato quasi due decenni. Tale eccezione è stata sostenuta in primo luogo dalla seconda guerra mondiale e poi dalla ricostruzione post-bellica di Europa e Giappone, nonché dalla rapida crescita economica degli Stati Uniti. Il boom più recente, che ha avuto inizio nel 2004 e si è concluso nel 2011, si inquadra meglio nella norma.

Le fasi di contrazione dei prezzi delle commodity – con decrementi tra valori massimi e minimi di oltre il 30% – hanno una durata simile, protraendosi, in media, per circa sette anni. L’attuale fase espansiva è oggi al quarto anno, con i prezzi delle materie prime non petrolifere (rispetto ai prezzi d’esportazione dei prodotti manifatturieri) diminuiti finora di circa il 25%.

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