Great discussion on the current commodity price increases from three economists at Purdue (I recommend listening to the audio files on the right side of the page).
Wally Tyner gives a great overview of the economics of commodity price volatility and the role of biofuels. He’s in the camp that argues conventional biofuel production was one of the primary causes of the 2007-2008 prices spikes, and continues to be a large contributing factor in 2010-2011.
I also enjoyed Phil Abbott’s discussion on the role of China in global commodity markets. In general, I think there tends to be some misconceptions about China’s role in this whole story and Dr. Abbott does a great job outlining and informing the debate.