You will have seen the script. Russia supplies 40 per cent of the world’s palladium, 90 per cent of its neon, 30 per cent of titanium, while Russia and Ukraine together produce a third of the world’s exported wheat. No wonder the commodities markets have been all over the place. The aluminium price has doubled in 18 months, while wheat has risen by a half since the start of last year. Traders have decided that farmers in Ukraine might be justified in finding more urgent things to do than sowing next year’s crop.

As everyone now knows, the cost of almost all raw materials, from oil and gas to metals and maize, is rising strongly, driving inflation everywhere. The last time wheat cost this much, it triggered the bread riots which led to the Arab spring. Yet this striking statistic disguises an even more striking one: that commodities are terrible long-term investments. The $900 per bushel spike in 2012 was followed by a long bear market which took the price down to $400, despite more mouths to feed, a shrinking acreage under production and growing affluence round the world. Only the war in Ukraine has driven the price past its previous peak.