Several of the world’s key commodities, including oil, gas, gold and corn, have been suffering the worst months of trading since the commodities crash of 2008.
Back then, the main reason for downturn in prices was obvious: the credit crisis and subsequent panic about global economic growth. Yet today, while global growth is more sluggish than hoped in certain parts of the world, particularly in China, the overall economic picture seems much brighter than in 2008.
In 2014, the focus seems to have switched to supply, as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) pledges to keep supply constant despite plunging oil prices. As well as being interpreted as throwing down the supply gauntlet to the shale-rich U.S., the OPEC move has been criticised for apparently penalizing several of its members.