Monday, April 5, 2010

The Cost of Rising Commodities on the Consumer

I haven't seen B.I.G. do one of these in a while.
From Bespoke Investment Group:

With $85 providing nothing in the way of resistance, the price of oil is up sharply today and trading above $86. While commodity traders who are long are loving the rise in oil prices, consumers aren't nearly as ebullient, especially ahead of the Summer driving season. To them, higher prices mean more pain at the pump, and in their wallets.

In the chart below we have calculated the cumulative daily price change of the major food and energy commodities in the CRB index (Corn, Soy, Wheat, Cattle, Hogs, Oil and Natural Gas) since the beginning of 2008. We then multiplied the changes by the annual per capita consumption of each item. When the line is in the red zone, commodity prices are acting as a tax on consumers, while the green shading indicates that lower commodity prices are providing a 'rebate' for consumers. While this method may oversimplify the actual costs, it provides a good idea of how changes in commodity prices have impacted consumers' wallets over the last 18 months....MORE