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World price levels, and path since ~2000 or preferably back longer; world market vs local market

Potentially Important Elements to include in analyzing a Commodity Market (examples only)

  1. World price levels, and path since ~2000 or preferably back longer; world market vs local market
    1. For changing prices over time, can you distinguish between demand and supply growth?
    2. Is price volatility especially significant?
    3. Output levels, worldwide vs local country
      1. Time series: is production growing or stable? Is there any likely explanation (e.g., from previous research)?
      2. Information on technical change, yield growth, other productivity questions
        1. Where is research taking place? Which countries are leaders in technology changes, or is it in CGIAR centers?
        2. Yield threats due to pests, diseases, climate changes?
        3. Other production-related issues?
        4. Time-related: changing comparative advantages across countries?
        5. Special Issues: Different qualities for sale, any quality distinctions in pricing, output
          1. Different varieties if differences in qualities are less important (e.g., in apples)
          2. By-products of importance
          3. Key producing countries, importing countries
          4. Proportion of world output that is traded (thickness or thinness of market)
          5. Policy measures in domestic market(s)? Alternatively, are there important market institutions?
            1. Any that have impact on world prices
            2. Linkages between domestic market and world market?
            3. Particular segmentation of world market? Price discrimination against certain markets?
            4. Value added in processing? What share of wholesale price received by farmers?
            5. Processing-related issues? Joint products? Concentration? Dynamics over time?


  1. Example 1: Ethiopian coffee key issues.  Net exporter of generally very good quality coffee; wide range of prices from no capture of quality premium to a strong premium (available only to direct exporters); few firms, coops can export directly and all others must sell through exchange with no quality premium; competitive trading system; all smallholder coffee (no plantations); growing domestic consumption reducing quantity available for export; price trend not known; tight linkage between export and domestic markets; Ethiopia mostly a price-taker on world markets, but with potentially large quality premium.
  2. Example 2: Key Issues from Vietnamese export/production patterns and growth
    1. incredibly rapid production growth; equally rapid export growth
    2. shift from ‘small country’ to ‘large country’ in those 6-7 commodities
    3. little government ‘support’; no subsidy, little input market provision (via policy)
    4. role of SOEs?
    5. Expectation of future export growth? Would you invest in VN’s export commodities?


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