soft commodities

Great Commodities Depression

The Great Commodities Depression is the steep, general recession in commodity prices between 1980 and 2000, both in real and nominal terms. The term was first coined by Robert Solow.

For example, soft commodities such as corn were $3.69 per bushel ($145/metric ton) in November, 1980; wheat $5.07 per bushel ($186/metric ton) in November, 1980; while hard commodities such as copper were $3,168.96 per tonne in February, 1980; and gold $850.00 per troy ounce in January, 1980.

After nearly twenty years, corn was $1.45 in August, 2000; wheat $1.94 in August, 2000; copper $1,319 in November, 2001; and gold $255.95 in April, 2001.

A long term recession such as this is also known as a secular bear market.

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