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How the Sino-American trade war is affecting commodity markets

The Economist |  27 February 2020  |  Investing

COMMODITY PRICES have been on a rollercoaster ride in the past few years. Spurred by Chinese demand, they reached a giddy peak in 2011. Oversupply and fears of an emerging-market slowdown led to a long decline until 2016. Then prices were starting to recover, until President Donald Trump began raising American import tariffs in 2018, provoking retaliation from China. A global slowdown, exacerbated by trade war, loomed. But in October Mr Trump suspended some tariff increases. Hopes of a mini-truce were in the air, but last week the American president angered China by signing a bill supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. This may have stalled a deal. Commodity prices have followed these twists and turns.


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