A huge drop of about 60% in global prices of precious metals in the past year is a direct result of US-Russia trade disputes, according to a report published by the International Monetary Fund.
The report, by the IMF’s research department, found that a reduction in the cost of metals in Russia could have a significant impact on the global economy, particularly for countries where the metals are used in electronic devices.
It comes as Russia and the US are battling over the control of a key portion of the world’s vast reserves of rare earth metals.
According to the report, the world price of silver dropped by more than 30% in the last year, to $1,600 per ounce.
That compares to an average drop of 6.4% a year earlier, from 2014 to 2015.
Russia and the United States are locked in a bitter dispute over control of the vast amount of rare-earth metals that are mined and traded in the two countries.
The United States and Russia claim that the rare-rock mining, and trade, is critical to their economies.
The two countries also have a large trade surplus with each other.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has made Russia a global symbol of economic development, is due to hold talks with US President Donald Trump in Washington next week.