With 2013 drawing to a close, we’re taking a moment to reflect back on the biggest moves seen by commodity investors over the past year on Wall Street. Overall, it’s undeniable that the commodity market has been largely clouded with uncertainty this year as evidenced by the fact that the S&P GSCI Commodity Index has turned in a negative performance year-to-date compared to the S&P 500′s stellar gains topping 25% [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
China’s slowdown coupled with persistently “easy” monetary policies from major central banks around the globe were the biggest factors in 2013 contributing to investors’ rotation out of the natural resources market and into the appreciating stock market.
Below, we outline the top five commodity stocks of 2013 based on YTD returns as of 12/10/2013; please also note that this list excludes stocks with an average volume below 1 million shares in an effort to focus only on the most liquid investments:
1. Cheniere Energy, Inc. (LNG) Up 149%
The Houston-based natural gas pipeline company took the number one spot this year after liquid natural gas-related business saw tremendous inflows as a result of the United State’s longer-term commitment to energy independence. This company owns and operates the Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Louisiana as well as the Creole Trail Pipeline, which interconnects the terminal with natural gas markets throughout North America.
2. Matador Resources Company (MTDR) Up 148%
This Dallas-based independent oil and gas explorer and producer soared to the top of the charts in 2013 as the U.S. energy renaissance spurred incredible opportunities on the home front. Matador is focused on oil and natural gas shale among other unconventional plays, with the bulk of its operations situated primarily in the Eagle Ford shale in South Texas as well as Wolfcamp in neighboring New Mexico among other territories in the Southwestern United States.
3. Penn Virginia Corporation (PVA) Up 127%
This Radnor, Pennsylvania-based independent oil and gas company saw its stock price surge from under $5 at the start of the year to well over $10 a share in the final trading month of 2013. The company is engaged primarily in the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas liquids with the bulk of its operations being situated in Texas and Mississippi.
4. U.S. Silica Holdings Inc. (SLCA) Up 107%
This Maryland-based specialty mining company was the only non-energy stock to make it onto this year’s Top Commodity Stocks list. The company is primarily a silica sand supplier, although it also produces other industrial minerals including sand proppants and aplite clay, which are used in a range of industries; some of SLCA’s customers include companies involved in oil and gas, chemicals, building products, and industrial filtration.
5. Pioneer Southwest Energy Partners L.P. (PSE) Up 82%
This Irving, Texas-based energy equipment and services company made the list thanks to soaring investments in the domestic energy spurred by hopes of energy independence in the not-too-distant future. The company operates onshore properties across the state of Texas as well as in the Southeast region of New Mexico.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.