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CEPAL Review

Cepal Review is the leading journal for the study of economic and social development issues in Latin America and the Caribbean. Edited by the Economic Commission for Latin America, each issue focuses on economic trends, industrialization, income distribution, technological development and monetary systems, as well as the implementation of economic reform and transfer of technology. Written in English and Spanish (Revista de la Cepal), each tri-annual issue offers approximately 12 studies and essays undertaken by authoritative experts or gathered from conference proceedings.

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The “China effect” on commodity prices and Latin American export earnings

The commodity boom between 2002 and 2008 played an important role in increasing export earnings from Latin America. Growing demand from China for primary products was one factor stimulating the boom. While the direct effects of the growth of exports from Latin America to China have been extensively explored, the indirect impact of higher Chinese demand for commodities on global commodity prices has received less attention. This paper estimates the contribution made by the growth of Chinese demand to the rise in the prices of the 15 main commodities exported from the region. On the basis of these estimates, it calculates the total gain for the region as a whole in export revenues from the “China effect” on world prices. It also provides estimates for 17 Latin American countries of the net effect of Chinese-induced price increases on their trade balances.

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