Years of Depressed Pricing Ahead

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In sharp contrast to a few months ago, when buyers were stepping over each other to get their hands on limited supplies of steel, aluminium, copper and other industrial staples, the global financial meltdown is turning the commodities sector upside down. . .

In sharp contrast to a few months ago, when buyers were stepping over each other to get their hands on limited supplies of steel, aluminium, copper and other industrial staples, the global financial meltdown is turning the commodities sector upside down, according to Evy Hambro, manager of BlackRock World Mining Fund, the world's largest commodities fund.

"The forced deleveraging that's taking place in financial markets has created necessary sellers meeting with reluctant buyers," Hambro said.

Commodities markets are facing years of depressed pricing as users of everything from Malaysian tin to South African platinum see orders dry up and cancel raw material shipments.

Steel makers worldwide are reducing inventories rather than make more steel, lowering demand for iron ore and coking coal, while a collapse in car making has left South Africa's once-booming platinum industry in tatters, Evy Hambro, the $4.7 billion fund's manager told a media teleconference.

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