Prices for most industrial commodities continued to rise in the fourth quarter from their lows in early 2016, while most agricultural prices declined. Crude oil prices are forecast to rise to $55 per barrel in 2017 from $43/bbl in 2016 following agreements among some Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) producers and non-OPEC producers to limit output in the first half of 2017.
Often considered a “futuristic” technology, industrial 3-D printing (also known as additive manufacturing) is already being implemented in a wide variety of industries, and companies are reaping the benefits.
Hydrogen is often described as the fuel of the future, particularly when applied to hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles. One of the main obstacles facing this technology -- a potential solution to future sustainable transport -- has been the lack of a lightweight, safe on-board hydrogen storage material. A major new discovery has shown that hydrocarbon wax rapidly releases large amounts of hydrogen when activated with catalysts and microwaves.
In November, energy prices fell 6.7%, while non-energy commodities rose 3.3%.
Food prices rose 0.3% and beverages fell 0.9%.
Global sales from natural rubber exports by country in 2015 amounted to US$14 billion.
That amount represents an average -69.7% drop in value since 2011 when natural rubber shipments were valued at $45.9 billion. Year over year, rubber shipments depreciated by -17.8% from 2014 to 2015.
Robots that work as assistants alongside people are set to upend the world of industrial robotics by putting automation within reach of many small and medium-sized companies for the first time, said industry players.
Collaborative robots, or "cobots", tend to be inexpensive, easy to use and safe to be around. They can easily be adapted to new tasks, making them well-suited to small-batch manufacturing and ever-shortening product cycles.
Prices for most commodities, including oil, are forecast to rise in 2017, as a long period of declining prices appears to be bottoming out.