In response to rising commodity prices, firms should consider ways of managing high input costs that go beyond passing costs through to the customer. Instead, explore ways to reduce supply chain inefficiencies, such as packaging optimization to lower shipping costs. Firms might also consider shifting product offerings toward a focus on higher-value, higher-margin goods.
Across a variety of commodities and inputs, cost pressures will continue rising in Q4 2021 and remain high well into 2022. Some inputs, such as copper, will ease next year, while others—including shipping and most agricultural commodities—could see price increases in the near term and elevated prices through the end of 2022.
Global container shipping snags will continue throughout next year, as the logistics industry struggles to adjust to an unprecedented increase in global merchandise trade flows since mid-2020. Oil, natural gas, and coal face strong near-term price pressures due to continued strong global factory activity. We forecast Brent oil prices to average US$80 per barrel in 2022, with prices easing over the course of the year. Natural gas prices will vary considerably across markets, with price pressures strongest in Europe and Asia, before beginning to ease next spring.
Prices for agricultural commodities are also likely to continue rising in the next several months, as weather events in Brazil and container shipping challenges are compounded by natural gas shortages, which have caused a decline in fertilizer production.
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