Monthly Archives: June 2008

World Oil Consumption

The energy statistics section now includes regional production and consumption charts. The regions available are:

Production and consumption numbers are available for coal, crude oil, dry natural gas, hydroelectric power, natural gas plant liquids, nuclear power, and alternative fuels. Leave me a comment if you find the new charts useful.

Commodity Price Data in Excel Format

Today I released two improvements to the commodity prices section. First, all price tables can be exported to Excel by clicking on a link located directly below the last row of each table (Example: Commodity Price Index from 1993 to 2008)

Second, the entry page now contains a graph showing the main commodity price indices.

I hope you find these two new features helpful. Your comments and feedback are welcome.

Policy analysis and commentary from leading economists

Vox is a wonderful web site I found today full of interesting analysis and comments by some of the World’s top economists. I was happy to see that my alma matter is very well represented by Olivier Blanchard, Giuseppe BertolaJeffrey Frankel, and others.

If you are paying particular attention to the explosive rise of commodity prices (see graph below), take a few minutes to read the articles written by Guillermo CalvoExploding commodity prices, lax monetary policy, and sovereign wealth funds – and by Jeffrey Frankel – An Explanation for Soaring Commodity Prices. They both suggest that commodity prices are not increasing simply because of soaring demand from China, India, and other fast-growing economies.


Commodity Price Index - Monthly Price - Commodity Prices

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

When writing about fluctuations in the price of commodities, you can now use our graphs to illustrate your point. For instance, take a look at the graph below. It shows the IMF Commodity Price Index (for all commodities) for the past fifteen years.

Commodity Price Index - Commodity Prices

The index has increased by 281.93%!

You can draw you own conclusions, but the important point is that embedding our graphs is now as simple as copying and pasting a bit of HTML code. Clicking on the graph will let you explore other time frames or choose a different price index or commodity.

Historical Price of Bananas

A very interesting article about bananas in the NY Times mentions the rapid rise of prices for what has been one of the lowest-priced fruits in the US. I decided to use the new commodity prices section to investigate how much prices have changed over the past twenty five years.

Over the past six months, the price of Central American and Ecuadorian bananas has increased by 43%. Between May of 2007 and May 2008 the price increased by 19% (the price peaked in March of 2008). A five year time frame shows an appreciation of 198.9%, while a 25 year time frame shows a price increase of 83.89%. There is significant volatility in the price of bananas. The lowest price within the past 25 years was USD 250.51 per metric ton in June of 1994, while the highest was USD 1027.36 in March of 2008.

Oil Consumption by Country

The energy statistics section now includes country rankings for the production and consumption of coal, crude oil, dry natural gas, hydroelectric power, natural gas liquids, nuclear electric power, and alternative (geothermal, solar, wind, and wood waste) electric power. The source for all charts is the United States Energy Information Administration.

In the previous version, energy statistics could only be graphed for one country at a time.

Uzbekistan’s Cotton Exports

A New York Times article about environmental destruction in Uzbekistan mentions that water diversion for cotton farming is one of the main factors behind the shrinkage of the Aral Sea.

I figured I could use the article to show some of the interesting agricultural statistics I added recently to IndexMundi. Here are the relevant links:

Naturally, you can also read the Uzbekistan country profile.