Minerals Price Increases and Volatility: Causes and Consequences
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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A rise in the prices of minerals has had a major impact on U.S. manufacturers and consumers. Mineral prices have risen while the economy as a whole has entered a period of slowing growth. This has created serious difficulties for consuming industries and concern in Congress. This report reviews the increases in price across a wide range of metals commodities. Prices have at least nearly doubled between 2001 and 2008. In the case of steel, the most widely used industrial metal, the rise in price appears largely driven by the high prices of iron ore and steel scrap. Weak demand and increasing supply may reduce metals prices, but it is also widely believed that prices will not fall to the levels seen earlier in this decade. The long-term trend of declining real prices for metals inputs, which boosted the competitiveness of the U.S. industrial economy throughout the 20th century, may be over.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Metallurgy and Metallography