Cotton has pulled back 17% from the all-time record set in early March, and sugar is down 34% from its multidecade high in February. Lead and zinc have tumbled in recent weeks after shooting up in the second half of 2010. Copper has shed 6% this year.
The wild ride continued early today, when spot silver suffered one of its worst drops on record, falling 12% in 11 minutes at its most severe. It opened at $47.863 an ounce, rose to $48.150, then in 20 minutes fell to $42.210 before stabilizing. The selloff also hit spot gold, which fell 2.2% in just over a half-hour to $1,542.61 an ounce from $1,576.52.
The months-long rally in commodity prices has sparked fears it could ignite inflation or cripple consumer spending. But a surprising trend is now sweeping the markets for some key materials: Prices are falling.
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