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TO 624 Strategic Sourcing: Commodity & Material Prices

Technology and Operations TO 624 course library & information resources

About Prices

Products are made from raw materials whose prices can fluctuate daily. One of the responsibilities of a supply chain professional is to identify product cost drivers and determine how to address price changes.

Price benchmark information is also used in contract negotiations and establishing favorable prices. Contracts sometimes included price escalation clauses which are tied to market exchanges or fee-based price reporting sources.

Price Availability

  • Price information is mostly available for raw materials or commodities where standard specifications have been established and there is little variance in their production process.   Examples include commodities in base metals, agriculture, energy, pulp and paper, certain steel forms and grades, plastic resins, fertilizers and other chemicals
     
  • Prices for finished goods are usually not publicly available and are confidential because they are determined by factors such as  the degree of customization and volume purchased.  These prices can only be obtained through the RFQ (request for quote) or bidding process.   A few examples of finished goods are fasteners, adhesives, electronic enclosures, corrugated boxes, and equipment. 

Origin

  • Major world commodity exchanges such as LME, ICE, CME-NYMEX, and SHFE
  • Price benchmark assessments provided by fee-based specialized price reporting agencies (PRAs) or special industry publications. ​ 

Rarely free 

  • Real time spot and forecast price information require subscriptions.  Exchanges  allow access to same day, real time price transactions only through their approved vendors such as Bloomberg, Metal Bulletin, and others.
  • Forecasters charge for their analysis; Information providers for collecting and analyzing the data.
  • In the U.S., government agencies such as the EIA and USDA provide some recent price assessments and forecasts for energy and some agricultural commodities.  Price publishing for certain sectors can also be delayed by weeks or months
  • Trade associations are good sources for supply and demand statistics but very rarely provide prices

Recent or real time prices for the following select commodities and finished goods are available through the following Kresge Library, government and organization resources

Consult the Librarian for price information not listed

Agriculture Prices

Construction Prices

Energy Prices

Metals & Minerals

Textiles

Search for YnFx Global Textile Weekly Price Watch

  • Polyester, nylon, acrylic, viscose and cotton. Also include feedstock prices

 

Multi-Sector Prices

Frequently Used U.S. Price Indexes

Shipping

Real Estate Prices

REIS

  • Commercial property rates for the U.S. metro and states
  • Access only available at the Tozzi Center

Price Management Background

Examples of Available Current Price Data Sets

Bloomberg (BL)

Base Metals

  • Aluminum/ium
  • Copper
  • Lead
  • Nickel
  • Tin
  • Zinc

Precious Metals

  • Gold
  • Silver

U.S. EIA

  • Coal
  • Electricity
  • Natural Gas
  • Oil

USDA

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Grains
  • Livestock
  • Fibres

BMI Outlook Reports

  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Barley
  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Palm Oil
  • Soybean