When it comes to inflation, energy and food prices receive particular attention.

Natural gas in Europe costs five times the average for the past six years, corn, wheat and soybeans one and a half times the average for the past 60 years.

But the prices of industrial products are also rising, partly because of high energy prices.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, prices for intermediate goods rose by a quarter in May compared to the previous year.

Metals in particular have become significantly more expensive with an increase of 38 percent - pig iron, steel and ferroalloys cost more than half more than in the previous year, reinforcing steel 72 percent, aluminum in raw form 42 percent more.

Martin Hock

Editor in Business.

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The development on the futures markets seems to have been completely contrary to this.

On the London Metal Exchange, prices have fallen by around a third on average over the past three months, and the price of nickel, which is primarily required for steel production, has fallen by more than half.

However, this impression is put into perspective when looking at the long-term price trend.

Starting from the lows that metal prices had reached in March 2020, they had initially more than doubled.

The price of tin even rose by a factor of 2.7 and that of nickel by a factor of 3.4.

So it's no wonder if the prices of these metals have recently fallen the most.

The bottom line, however, is that the prices of industrial metals, apart from lead,

The crux is zero Covid

The to a certain extent contradictory development of consumer, producer and commodity exchange prices can be traced back to the disruptions in the supply chains.

Manufacturers often lack the raw materials they need.

The Chinese leadership's uncompromising zero-Covid policy is seen as responsible for this: the closure of ports, for example, or the widespread and sometimes sudden imposition of curfews mean that there are shortages of raw materials elsewhere.

“In this situation, companies are reducing orders and using falling futures prices as a hedge.

The fundamental situation is actually quite different, but this will only come into play when China backs away from its Covid policy," says Armin Sabeur,

Because this burdens the demand from China, so that the commodity markets are currently dominated by recession worries, as Sabeur says.

The turnaround in price development on western stock exchanges also began in early March, when the American central bank began to tighten its monetary policy.

According to Sabeur, the rising prices of end products are primarily the result of continued strong demand.

The automotive market is a good example of this.

He points out, for example, that Tesla has raised prices several times this year or that the German used car market is more expensive than it has been since reunification.

The prices for new electric vehicles in particular have risen significantly.

The reason for this is in turn higher prices for the battery raw materials lithium, nickel and cobalt.

Due to the high battery costs, the profit margins for e-cars used to be comparatively low.

Recently, Ford said they didn't make any money from the Mach-E model. However, the demand does not worry the manufacturers.

This is extremely robust and so you have the opportunity to set prices,

said Ford CEO Jim Farley in April.

"We live in a world in which there seems to be almost no limit to the willingness to pay," said Robert Scaringe, head of the electric car manufacturer Rivian - even if it won't stay that way in the long run.

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