Commodity prices are not just falling; they’ve cratered.

I frequently check IndexMundi's report on 100 different commodities, from zinc to plywood, copra to coffee, diesel to rice.

Seventy of the 100 are down year over year. A whopping 51 are down by double digits. The leader is Brent crude oil at -45%. But prices are falling across the board. Only tea (+53%) and olive oil (+28%) are up double digits.

The overall mix is down near where we were at the depths of the Great Recession.

Commodities are inputs in all goods we consume—energy, food, building supplies, manufacturing inputs—and they’re a key reason inflation has been so tame.

The overall mix is down near where we were at the depths of the Great Recession.
This trend also reflects how far China has retreated from its role as commodity consumer vacuum.

It’s clear Chinese buying has slowed in just about everything.

While in the short term, low prices and low inflation are great for consumers, big commodity-producing companies and countries are struggling.

Their pain is likely to continue.