Commodities That Perform Best During High Inflation

Inflation, or the general rise in the price level of goods and services in an economy over a period of time, often leads to a decrease in purchasing power. Certain commodities have historically shown resilience or even thrived during periods of high inflation. Below, we explore some of these commodities, focusing on how and why they have performed well in such economic environments.

1. Gold

Gold is famously known as a hedge against inflation. As paper currency loses its value, investors often turn to tangible assets like gold to retain value. Unlike paper money, gold’s worth is not influenced by government monetary policy, making it attractive during times when central banks are printing more money.

2. Silver

Like gold, silver is also considered a precious metal that tends to perform well during inflationary periods. Its intrinsic value and limited supply can make it a reliable store of value. Furthermore, silver’s industrial uses can boost demand, offering a dual benefit of scarcity and utility.

3. Energy Commodities (Oil and Gas)

Energy commodities like oil and natural gas often see price increases during periods of high inflation. The cost of energy has a significant impact on various sectors of the economy, so when inflation causes general price increases, energy commodities typically follow suit. Demand for energy often remains relatively stable, even during inflationary periods, supporting higher prices.

4. Agricultural Commodities (Wheat, Corn, Soybeans)

Food is a basic need, and demand typically remains constant even as prices rise. During inflationary periods, the cost of producing agricultural goods (such as labor and fuel) can increase, leading to higher prices for commodities like wheat, corn, and soybeans.

5. Base Metals (Copper, Zinc, Nickel)

Inflation often corresponds with strong economic activity, leading to increased demand for industrial metals. Metals like copper, zinc, and nickel are essential for various industrial applications and construction projects. As economies expand and building activity increases, these metals may see price gains.

6. Real Assets (Timber, Real Estate)

Real assets like timber and real estate have intrinsic value and can be a hedge against inflation. Timber is a renewable resource with various industrial applications, while real estate can generate rental income and appreciate in value. These real assets may perform well when paper assets are losing ground to inflation.


Investing in commodities during periods of high inflation can be an effective strategy to preserve or even grow wealth. However, it is not without risks. The performance of specific commodities can vary widely based on global economic conditions, supply and demand dynamics, and other unique factors.

Diversifying into a mix of different commodities or using managed investment products like commodity-focused mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) can mitigate some of these risks. It is always wise to consult with a financial advisor or investment professional who understands your unique financial situation and risk tolerance before making significant investment decisions, particularly in a complex and volatile environment like high inflation.