The first half of 2013 is officially in the books as commodity investors take a look back on a relatively eventful two quarters. While equities surged to highs never seen before, a number of commodities struggled, as analysts and investors fear that the super-cycle may be nearing its end. But while a number of high profile commodities, like gold, had a tough time this year, there were others that persisted. Below, we outline three commodities who turned in positive performances through the first six months of the year [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
In the world of agribusiness, there is no name more prolific then Monsanto Company (MON) – the world’s leading producer of the herbicide glyphosate and the second biggest producer of genetically engineered seeds. With a market cap of over $54 billion, investors pay close attention to this bellwether, following the company’s news and key earnings report [for more agricultural news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Backwardation is the process where near-month futures are more expensive than those expiring later in time, which creates a downward sloping curve for prices over time. It is a natural occurrence in the commodity world, but it’s still a phenomenon that traders need to be aware of. Often, a falling futures curve could mean that the market expects the commodity to take a drop in value or that it is currently overpriced [for more commodity futures news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
While many traders primarily focus on resources like gold or oil, there are plenty of other opportunities in the commodity space. One such opportunity lies in cotton, which can be found in almost every textile product around the world; but as a soft commodity this constant demand does not always translate into consistent returns. The fluffy crop has enjoyed a strong start to 2013, but is well known for its large movements from day to day and for keeping investors on their toes [for more cotton news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
While many commodity investors and traders primarily focus their attention on larger natural resources like gold or oil, there are plenty of other opportunities in the space; one of them lies within the soft commodity of cotton [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Cotton has gotten plenty of attention from investors in the textile industry recently. Last year, the soft commodity suffered significant losses, surrendering just under 13% on the year. This year, however, rising demand from China has the bulls lining up to place bets on what they believe will be a great year for cotton [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
This past year has certainly been a volatile one for the commodity space, but the majority of these assets has been able to net a positive return on the year. Lumber and soybeans led the pack, as each appreciated more than 35% for the year. But bringing up the rear are a few commodities who are no strangers to volatility and weak performances. Below, we outline the five worst performing commodities of 2012 to give investors a better idea of how the year shaped up [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
In the commodity world, active trading reigns supreme; many investors measure their holding period by minutes and hours rather than by weeks and months. Among the most popular items to trade, soft commodities have found a particular niche with those who can stomach their risk. Made up of cocoa, coffee, cotton and sugar, the soft commodities are among the most volatile on the market and, as such, have become a trader’s dream [for more soft commodity news subscribe to our free newsletter].