Raw materials plan delayed

Raw materials plan delayed

Publication of controversial document on how to protect raw materials put on hold.



The European Commission has delayed publication of its plan on how to secure Europe’s supplies of scarce raw materials.

The communication, which was due to be presented tomorrow (26 January), sets out a strategy for the EU to ensure supplies of raw materials such as metals, minerals, wood and rubber. The scope of the strategy, which has been in preparation for more than six months, was extended at the eleventh hour to cover commodities including farm goods.

A spokesman said that the Commission had delayed publication of the document to allow time for a “more in-depth analysis” of the behaviour of markets for raw materials.

A draft of the report had been criticised by Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s president, for failing to address the role of financial market speculation in driving up commodity prices.

Referring to a draft of the Commission’s communication, Sarkozy said a report that said speculation had no impact on prices should be published on 1 April, a reference to April Fool’s Day.

Sarkozy has put the issue of the volatility of commodity markets on the agenda for France’s presidency of the G20 group of the world’s wealthiest and fastest growing countries. He said in a speech on Monday (24 January) that there should be more transparency in the trade of commodities. He also said that measures to curb financial speculation should be considered.

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Simon Taylor