At the height of the last commodities boom, a narrative emerged that captivated Western investors excited by the prospect of a new super-cycle.
Put simply, it said China ruled. The middle kingdom's demand for all things material, and capable of manufacture, dictated it would be a dominant customer for a range of industrial metals and energy products.
Strangely enough, this narrative has largely disappeared from the public debate. Yet evidence is beginning to emerge that China never lost its super-sized role in the commodity markets.
In fact, China may be trying to exert even more influence than before, cornering the trade in some key metals whilst also trying to dictate prices across a range of other commodities.
In sum, China still rules and its power to move prices may yet have a huge impact on Western financial markets, not least our own equity markets, which have a strong resources component.
The notion that China is still crucial is opportune. Commodity markets seem to be at a major inflection point, with talk of a surge in prices commonplace.
Many individual resource markets have bobbed up and down over the past 12 months with no obvious pattern, except that oil prices may have bottomed out.
As Goldman Sachs recently asked in one of its notes: "Will the survey macroeconomic data turn into strong hard macroeconomic data; will the Chinese credit data turn into real physical demand for metals; and will the OPEC production cuts turn into solid US oil inventory draws?"
Goldmans believes the answer to all these questions is 'yes'.
Individual markets are, of course, subject to wildly varying individual dynamics. Copper prices have soared by 20% over the last year, and more specialist commodities have shown even greater increases in value.
The price of cobalt, for instance, traded on the London Metal Exchange has sky rocketed over 125% since June 2016, with a 64% return year-to-date.
Prices for cobalt have shot up for a number of reasons, not least key Chinese producers have halted deliveries because they do not have enough supply.
Lithium prices have also shot up (18% over the year) as have those for many rare earths.
More and more evidence is also emerging of massive stockpiling by key Chinese agencies.