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Falling Commodity Prices: Riding the Rollercoaster

Mining has propped up the Australian economy for over a decade, but now the boom appears to be over. What can explain this dramatic fall?

This article first appeared in Short Supply 2015 – check out the full magazine via the Short Supply tab at the top of this page!

The end of good times? The mining boom re-examined

This article is one of two Q&A specials informing the reader on a topic of economic importance to Australia that was discussed by the panel on the night.

In the past few years Australia has experienced one of the longest and largest increases in the value of the mining sector, seeing it grow to account for approximately 52% of all exports produced by Australia and worth $164 Billion a year[1]. Similarly, mining related investments in Australia now comprise some 40% of all investments undertaken, up from 10% before the boom and accounting for $80 billion a year — more than any other country in the developed world.

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Economic zoning – the way forward for Australian prosperity?

This article forms part of an ongoing series looking at economic issues as Australia heads into the Federal Election. More coverage can be found on the Election 2013 page of ESSA’s website.

We are now in the second week of Australia’s (seemingly eternal) election campaign. One of the more interesting policies to emerge from the general ‘I-want-to-make-you-happy-with-money’ guff is Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s proposal to separate some northern regions of the country into their own ‘economic zone’.

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Commodity Price Volatility – A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Commodities are notorious for their volatility. I saw this first hand when I was working as an Investment Analyst at Dixon Advisory. I was tasked to investigate whether shares with exposure to the silver price were worth pursuing. Silver is a fantastic example of a ridiculously volatile commodity. The chart below shows you what I mean:

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