"The rise in raw material prices can help a lot to the recovery of Latin America, especially in South America, which is the great global supplier of raw materials," IE Business School Professor Juan Carlos Martinez said, adding that higher prices will improve trade balances and public revenues.
"This is good news... especially for Latin American countries. The long-awaited economic recovery could be less complicated than previously expected," stressed Carlos Malamud, a researcher at the Elcano Royal Institute in Spain.
The improvement in international prices has benefited countries such as Chile and Peru, both of which export copper, a commodity whose price went from US$2.79 per pound in December 2019 to US$3.56 per pound this month.
Soybean futures went from US$9.43 to US$12.63 per bushel, a change that benefits Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, which are in the world's top five producing countries.
Another mineral that has been revalued is silver, which counts among its main producers Mexico and Peru. Between March and December, this metal's price increased from US$12 to US$26 per troy ounce.
Among the reasons for the uprising commodity prices is the recovery of Chinese economic activity and the weakness of the dollar as the euro has appreciated by almost 9 percent over the last year and "a weak dollar normally implies that commodity prices are higher and vice versa," Martinez explained.
However, not all raw material prices are rising as oil maintains prices below those it had at the beginning of the year. Between Dec. 2019 and Dec. 2020, the Brent barrel's average price went from US$66 to US$51, that is, a decrease of over 22 percent.
Other commodity prices will probably remain very high because there is a lot of liquidity in the global economy, which makes many investors seek refuge in raw materials to get returns that in other markets are difficult to achieve today.