Academic year
2022/2023 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
EM2057 (AF:358855 AR:188832)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
1st Term
Course year
Go to Moodle page
The course aims to provide tools for the description and analysis of commodity markets in the global economy, the application of acquired knowledge and the mastery of the main issues arising from the commodity market (soft and hard).
Particular attention is given to the examination of supply and demand; the analysis of the pricing process and volatility (mainly distinguishing between short and long term causes); public intervention policies and market systems, given the evolution of globalization processes and international agreements (multilateral, regional and on raw materials) and shocks.
The course, as a homework assignment, also focuses on specific case studies (such as cotton, energy, precious metals, cereals, rice) to apply the acquired knowledge, interpreting the operation, policies and free trade agreements.
1. Knowledge and understanding
1.1 Understanding and identifying the various market systems (production and distribution) of commodities
1.2 Understanding how public interventions in the commodities market can influence prices and quantities exchanged
1.3 Understanding the role of commodity exchanges (and of different contracts) and identifying specific commodity exchanges
1.4 Understanding and identifying the effects of free trade agreements (bilateral and multilateral) on price, quantity and trade direction.

2. Applying and analyzing
2.1 Identifying the determinants of supply and demand to interpret any market trends
2.2 Analyzing import and export flows in light of public policies adopted and signed free trade agreements
2.3 Identifying any distorting effects of policies adopted in developed and developing countries in achieving food security

3. Evaluating
3.1 Interpreting the functioning of global commodity markets in the light of macroeconomic, geopolitical, environmental and social variables
3.2 Reflecting on the policies adopted and adoptable in relation to the existing disparity in terms of economic development between exporting countries and importing countries
3.3 Reflecting on free trade agreements in relation to the impact on international trade in commodities 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. Commodities in the global context: supply and demand, forms of market for production and distribution, price formation and volatility
2. Public policies of prices and markets: principles and effects on the international market in terms of prices, externalities and exchanges
3. Comparisons between developed and developing countries in commodity trade
4. The main international commodity exchanges and forms of bargaining as price formation instruments
5. WTO, regional free trade agreements and commodity agreements: impacts on international commodity trade and their potential distortion
6. Functioning of the commodities market through the analysis of case studies
Baffes, John, and Peter Nagle, eds. 2022. Commodity Markets: Evolution, Challenges, and Policies. Washington, DC: World Bank. License: Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 3.0 IGO
BAIN C. (2013) Guide to Commodities, Producers, players and prices, markets, consumers and trends, The Economist

available on the Moodle page of the course (2022/2023) and must to be consulted
The exam is written and is based on the verification of the expected learning outcomes. The exam, lasting about 60 minutes, is generally divided into three questions that combine theoretical aspects. and practical. They are aimed at measuring the ability and ability to apply knowledge and understanding and judgment.
The exam is passed by obtaining at least 18 points.
A list of theoretical questions and the analysis of some cases are available on the moodle platform.
The possibility to consult teaching material during the exam will be dictated by the modality chosen for the exam, as consequence of the health emergency and specify
The course mainly follows a conventional teaching approach (even in the case of online or dual system lessons) combined with e-learning activities. The conventional approach essentially aims to provide students with the tools to describe and analyze commodity markets 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 subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Circular economy, innovation, work" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 19/08/2022