Commodity – something where the producers don’t have pricing power. Not a complete description but a useful one:
The reality is that few real shortages were in fact created by the war in Ukraine, whilst Covid supply chains have long since been resolved (chips apart). There were no real reasons for price increases in that case bar one thing, and that was the profiteering from fear that was exploited by many suppliers of basic commodities, like oil companies.
Since many oil, gas, food and construction raw material costs are now back at pre-war prices the idea that there was a fundamental cost increase as a result of it that they needed to cover by increasing prices is shown to be wrong: they simply profiteered at cost to society at large, as Shell’s profits clearly demonstrated yesterday.
Crude oil is a commodity. Shell doesn’t have pricing power.