Academic year
2022/2023 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
EM1070 (AF:383263 AR:211650)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
2nd Term
Course year
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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 and impact of shocks.
The course includes the discussion as homework of some specific case studies (such as: cotton, cereals, rice, oil) to apply acquired knowledge, interpreting trade flows.

1. Knowledge 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

2. 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
Available on the Moodle page of the course and must to be consulted ( ). It is strongly suggested to contact the teacher in case of doubts and at least one week before the exam date

The Economist (2013) Guide to Commodities: Producers, players and prices; markets, consumers and trends
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

The exam is written (in the presence of preference or online if the health emergency requires it) 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: 15/06/2023