Crude oil prices have hit a seven-year low after last week’s decision in Vienna of OPEC, the oil cartel, not to put any limit on oil production next year.
Demand for oil has slowed sharply and oil stocks have built up to a record 3bn barrels while oil tankers circle the waters around refineries in the US and Europe unable to unload because there is no demand.
At the same time, the prices of important raw materials like iron ore and copper hit new lows. The transport of these resources in ‘bulk carriers has collapsed, as measured by the so-called Baltic dry index, now at a 30-year low.
As a result, the large so-called emerging economies like Russia, Brazil and South Africa, where exports are mainly energy and other raw materials for the industrial and consumer economies of the mature capitalist world, slipped into economic recession, with their currency values collapsing. …
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