Tackling the Challenges of Commodity Markets and Raw Materials

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A recent European Commission communication presents an overview of work that has been done to improve the regulation, integrity and transparency of financial markets. The communication is part of the EC’s ongoing initiatives in line with the G20’s principles.

On 2 February 2011, the European Commission (EC) published a communication on the volatility in commodity prices and the fluctuating price of raw materials. The communication presents an overview of work that has been done to improve the regulation, integrity and transparency of financial markets.

Due to the wide-reaching effect the rising prices of commodities and raw materials have had within the European Union (EU), including with respect to financial markets and relations with countries outside the EU, the EC continues to emphasise the importance of stabilising these prices. European Commissioner Michel Barnier, part of the EC delegation that presented the communication to the European Parliament, said that “agricultural products are no longer foodstuffs but have also become financial assets.” The increased connectedness between all of these areas means that developments in financial markets can trigger investment or hedging decisions in relation to the underlying physical commodities.

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