Backwardation is the process by which futures contracts decrease in price as they move further out in maturity. This can often be due to the expectation of future prices or trends in a certain hard asset, but it can also occur from supply boosts, among other things. Though it is not a phenomenon that should worry investors, keeping an eye on the futures curve can help you make more informed investment decisions [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
After commodities had a rough go in 2013, taking the backseat to surging equities, it seems that this year has more favorable conditions in store for a number of hard assets. Though a number of commodities have gotten off to a white-hot start this year, none have even come close to the gains that coffee futures have notched, as that commodity has spiked more than 80% through the first 10 weeks of the year [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Bullish euphoria continues to permeate Wall Street as evidenced by the S&P 500′s seemingly perpetual ascent into previously uncharted territory. Economic data remains mixed however and investors are finding it harder and harder to blame the slowdown on the nasty winter weather, which is why U.S. equity benchmarks have largely traded sideways following the most recent employment report from March 7th [for more commodity futures news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Polar vortexes and heavy snow are two of the most defining characteristics of the 2013-2014 winter season in the U.S. Bitter cold and harsh weather conditions have taken their toll on parts of the economy, especially when it comes to employment figures. However, when it comes to natural gas prices, the cold weather has propelled the fossil fuel higher, as incessant demand has sent NG on a tear to open up the year [for more natural gas news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Earlier this week, President Obama unveiled his budget proposal for the year beginning Oct. 1. The proposed 2015 budget totals $3.9 trillion, including certain tax increases, as well as budget cuts and increases across nearly all departments. A closer look at the breakdown of Obama’s budget reveals several key factors commodity traders and investors should be aware of – particularly for the energy and agriculture industries [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter]