Energy prices, which spiked last year amidst natural gas supply disruptions, particularly in Europe, have significantly come down from their peaks, despite seeing a slight uptick in recent months. In logistics, lower fuel costs and a stronger supply capacity position outpacing lowered consumer demand mean freight rates have seen dramatic declines. The first half of this year also saw food commodity prices and supply shortages ease significantly compared to 2022 highs.

However, the forces that hindered growth over the last year persist, and global markets remain vulnerable to volatility, with various upside and downside risks:

  • Geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine could intensify and impact trade routes, as well as further raise food and energy prices. The recent suspension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which previously allowed ships to safely export grain, foodstuffs, and fertilizer from Ukrainian ports, is a key concern.
  • Persistent macroeconomic headwinds and lower global demand than expected, particularly given China’s underwhelming recovery. Stubborn inflation and successive interest rates hikes in Europe and US have also weakened consumption in the context of diminished consumer confidence – and resulted in reduced manufacturing activity. With demand for consumer goods down, logistics pressures have eased, along with prices for key input goods such as metals. However, any demand-side boost from unexpectedly high stimulus would again see these categories impacted.
  • Climate change giving rise to increasingly unpredictable and extreme weather. El Niño is causing unprecedented high temperatures and droughts across Europe over the summer and is likely to bring a colder, harsher winter, which would see natural gas supplies and electricity prices pressured again. Extreme weather has also impacted crops and has the potential to increase food commodity prices, which have begun to rise again in recent months.

Categories experiencing significant change


With a highly unstable environment impacted by sharp price rises affecting most industries, we expect this trend to only continue despite government intervention and other efforts.

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Food & Agriculture

While high food commodity prices and supply shortages have eased considerably compared to their peaks last year, the food market remains volatile and continues to be marked by supply chain risks and macroeconomic pressures.

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The cost of fuel has led to a pattern of instability. However, we anticipate an overall improved outlook for 2023. Stabilization will be driven by a number of factors, such as changes in buying patterns due to inflation.

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High volatility continues throughout 2023 on both the supply and demand side, as Metals have been particularly impacted by the economic recession.

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1. Please note the geographical scope for each category may differ and will be flagged accordingly
This information is presented for information purposes only. Efficio disclaims any representations or warranties (express or implied) with respect to the information, and it should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors. Any use of this information is at the user’s own risk. Note this data and related contents refer to circumstances as at end of September 2023.

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