Something To Think About Regarding Commodity Inflation

It’s fashionable, as Felix Salmon did yesterday, to ascribe the recent surge in commodity prices to QE2, though as we noted, you could more robustly explain the surge by a string of better-than-expected economic data since September 1.

But forget US data for a second, because, of course, the big driver of commodity demand these days is China.

Remember last Friday when China had its first big down day? Commodities got walloped.

And after this morning’s ugly day in Shanghai, industrial commodities like oil and copper are down big again.

Meanwhile, as The Economist recently noted, many key commodities actually bottomed no in late August (Jackson Hole was on August 27) but in July, when China paused on some anti-growth policy measures.

So again, rather than ascribing every move to USD or Bernanke, the simplest explanation — that the world’s biggest commodity buyer is calling the shots — may be the best.


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