La croissance des matières premières

SEOUL – Le super-cycle des matières premières – par lequel les prix des matières premières atteignent des sommets toujours plus élevés et retombent toujours un peu plus haut – n'est pas terminé. Malgré l'euphorie autour du gaz de schiste – en fait, malgré la faible croissance mondiale – les prix des matières premières ont augmenté de près de 150% après la crise financière. A moyen terme, cette tendance continuera à poser un risque d'inflation et à réduire les niveaux de vie dans le monde entier.

Il y a d’abord l'argument de la convergence. Tant que la Chine continue à croître, l’augmentation de sa taille, de sa richesse et de son taux d’urbanisation va continuer à alimenter la demande d'énergie, de céréales, de minéraux et d'autres ressources.

Par exemple, les États-Unis consomment plus de neuf fois davantage de pétrole que la Chine par habitant. Si une plus grande partie de la population chinoise converge vers les normes de consommation occidentales, la demande pour les produits de base – et donc leurs prix – resteront sur une trajectoire ascendante.

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