Global commodity price slump sends ripples around the world

Fri Oct 2, 2015 9:30am EDT
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* Commodity prices fall after long period of increases

* Rises began after surge in China's economy

* Declines follow economic slowdown in China

* Countries, companies pay price for not diversifying.

By Matthew Mpoke Bigg

TARKWA, Ghana, Oct 2 (Reuters) - In the boom times when the price of gold was soaring, Ebenezer Sam-Onuawonto had a dream job and a dollar salary many times the national average in this mining town in southwestern Ghana.

When the price fell, he lost his job as human resources chief at a mining company that closed its local operations and could only find work in a construction firm in another city, far from the house he built in Tarkwa for his wife and six children.

"I hardly see my kids now," said Sam-Onuawonto, his life changed as a result of a slump in global commodity prices whose impact is being felt around the world on currencies, companies, consumers, national economies and - potentially - governments.

At one end of the wealth scale, the rout has affected huge companies such as Swiss-based trading and mining company Glencore, whose market value has shrunk in the past year. At the other end, it holds the key to the fate of entire communities dependent on the raw materials they produce.   Continued...