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[CHART] How Today’s Crash in Commodity Prices Compares to 1999

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Commodity prices just hit their lowest level of the 21st century.

The Bloomberg Commodity Index, which tracks the movement of 22 raw materials and their underlying futures contracts, tumbled 1.5% to 86.96 points this morning (Monday). The index hasn’t sunk that low since Aug. 26, 1999, when it hit 86.30.

Here’s how the index has trended from 1999 to now:

commodity pricesThe index’s most heavily weighted components are natural gas, crude oil, and gold. Futures for these commodities have fallen 1.5%, 4.4%, and 0.5% since Friday.

“Sentiment is extremely negative across the commodity complex,” noted Mark Keenan, head of commodities research for Asia at Societe Generale SA in Singapore, in an e-mail toBloomberg. “Markets are plagued by concerns of oversupply.”

All commodity prices retreated today as investors panic over slowing demand in China. The world’s second-largest economy and leading consumer of energy, grains, and metals saw the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index plummet 8.5% on the day. That’s China’s worst single-day stock market loss since 2007.

The current commodity price crash marks the first significant slump since the peak of the 2008 financial crisis. The commodity index fell nearly 60% during the last half of 2008. Prices have slowly been declining since they hit a post-recession peak in early 2011.

But oil is dragging the index down the most. In fact, Brent oil prices cratered to their lowest levels in over six years this morning.

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