Academic year
2019/2020 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
EM1070 (AF:303617 AR:167160)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
2nd Term
Course year
Go to Moodle page
The course aims to provide students with the tools to describe and analyze the trading of commodities in the global economy and identify the international economic arrangements at the base of the commodity markets. Considering the growing process of globalization of the markets, the course pays particular attention to: the examination of the determinants of consumption and production of raw materials at world level; the consequent formation of price and its volatility; the study of international trade agreements, public policies and market systems. The course includes the discussion of some specific case studies (such as: cotton, cereals, rice, oil) to apply acquired knowledge, interpreting trade flows.

Remembering and understanding
1.1 Understanding of price formation processes in commodity markets;
1.2 Knowledge and understanding of the effects of the processes of globalization of markets and international economic structures;
1.3 Understanding of the effects of public policies on the commodity market
1.4 Identifying the effects of free trade agreements (multilateral, bilateral, raw materials) on international trade

Applying and analysing
2.1 Identifying the determinants of supply and demand to interpret trade flows distinguishing between short and long term variables
2.2 Interpreting the dynamics of international commodity trade in light of the policies adopted and the free trade agreements adopted
2.3 Identifying any distortion effects and interpreting possible developments

3. Evaluating
3.1 Interpreting the import-export flows of commodities taking into account macroeconomic, environmental, social and geopolitical variables
3.2 Reflecting on adopted and adoptable policies in relation to the existing disparities in economic development between importing and exporting countries of raw materials
3.3 Reflecting on the impact of free trade agreements and agreements on raw materials on international commodity trade and their potential distortion
Having passed the basic Economics exams (micro and macro). In particular, it is necessary to master demand and supply models and market systems
1. Long-term consumption and production commodity trends
2. Shift in consumption from developed to developing countries and the role of China and India in the international commodity markets
3. Functioning of commodity markets, price instability and volatility
4. European and international public policies affecting commodity markets
5. Multilateral and bilateral trade agreements
5. International Trade
6. Case study
The Economist (2033) Guide to Commodities: Producers, players and prices; markets, consumers and trends
The World Bank (October 2017) Commodity Markets Outlook available at

Teaching materials, in addition to the suggested books, are available on the Moodle page of the course and must to be consulted ( )

The exam is written and is based on the assessment of the expected learning outcomes. The exam, which lasts about 60 minutes, is usually divided into three questions, two of which are theoretical and one on the analysis of a case study, taken from a short article. The first two are mainly targeted at the measurement of the ability to apply knowledge and understanding; the analysis of the case study at the ability to judge.
The minimum pass score on the exam is 18 points.
A list of theoretical questions and analysis of some cases are available on the moodle platform.
Books, notes or electronic media are not allowed during the exam
The course mainly follows a conventional teaching approach combined with e-learning activities. The conventional approach essentially aims to provide students with the tools to describe and analyze international commodity trends and to apply acquired knowledge and skills. The e-learning activities are directed, above all, but not only, to verify the degree of judgment acquired.
This programme is provisional and there could still be changes in its contents.
Last update of the programme: 12/04/2019