February Contango Report: Precious Metals and Softs

Contango is the process by which near month futures are cheaper than those expiring further into the future, creating an upward sloping curve for future prices over time. It usually stems from the cost of storing commodities prior to their sale, though a futures curve can also reflect market expectations of where a commodity is heading. Though contango often comes handcuffed to negative connotations, it typically is not a problem for traders and investors who are aware of it [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Agriculture, Coffee, Corn, Gold, Palladium, Platinum, Precious Metals, Silver, Sugar | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Brazil’s Dry Spell Affects Coffee and Sugar Prices

In the commodity space, Brazil is one of the major players in global agricultural production. Roughly 20% of the Brazilian workforce is engaged in agriculture, and more than a quarter of the country’s export earnings come from agricultural exports. Because of its dominance in the market, however, any shift in local crop conditions and climate can have significant impact on agricultural prices [for more agriculture news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Agriculture, Coffee, Sugar | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Checking in on the Worst Commodities of 2012

2013 was undoubtedly a rough year for commodities, particularly for precious metals like gold and silver. There were, however, some bright spots in the space, including cocoa, soybean meal, orange juice, gasoline, and brent. For the coming year, analysts remain rather pessimistic on the broad commodity market. Goldman Sachs analysts have noted: “Last year, we pointed to the ongoing shift in our commodity views, ultimately towards downside price risk. The impact of supply responses to the period of extraordinary price pressure continues to flow through the system.” [For more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Agriculture, Coal, Coffee, Commodity Futures, Energy, Natural Gas, Sugar | Leave a comment

Ukraine Ignores Russian Threats Against New EU Trade Deal

In the commodity world, trade agreements and regulations can either make or break a particular market. Whether it be new alliances, tariffs, or taxes, each decision made by commodity producing countries can have a significant and material impact on the flow of goods and natural resources. Over recent years, one country has struggled to take a concrete stance on its trade agreements, going back and forth between new and forward-looking trade ventures to the West and its long and tangled ties with its neighbor (and once oppressor). This week, however, Ukraine finally took a stand against Russia, giving the formal go-ahead for its landmark trade deal with the European Union [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Academic Research, Actionable Ideas, Agriculture, Asset Allocation, Brent Oil, Coal, Cotton, Energy, Industrial Metals, Natural Gas, Steel, Sugar, Wheat, WTI | Leave a comment

Getting Ready For Sugar Trading Swings

Despite continued rising demand pressures from emerging markets, many natural resources still operate on a cyclical bias. For example, natural gas demand and prices generally rise in the winter as more people begin to heat their homes. Conversely, when the weather is warmer, natural gas supplies build and prices drop. For investors or traders, using commodities’ various seasonal and cyclical patterns can prove profitable [for commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Actionable Ideas, Agriculture, Asset Allocation, Commodity ETFs, Commodity Futures, Sugar | Leave a comment

The 5 Worst Commodities of 2012

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].

Posted in Actionable Ideas, Agriculture, Asset Allocation, Coffee, Cotton, Energy, Natural Gas, Orange Juice, Sugar | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The Best And Worst Soft Commodity ETPs Of 2012

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].

Posted in Agriculture, Asset Allocation, Cocoa, Coffee, Commodity ETF Analysis, Commodity ETFs, Cotton, Sugar | Leave a comment

A Deeper Look At Brazil’s Commodity Industry

Due to better governance practices and a commodity boom, Brazil’s economy has enjoyed incredible growth over the past 20 years. Brazil is now the largest economy in Latin America and the sixth or seventh largest economy depending upon the metric used. On the other hand, while Brazil’s GDP per capita has improved, it still ranks at a relatively low 64th in the world – meaning that it is a large economy, but not an especially wealthy one yet (at least not uniformly so). While Brazil has made a concerted effort to build up its manufacturing sector (and reduce the risk of being trapped as a commodity-driven economy), minerals, energy and agriculture are still very significant to the Brazilian economy, as well as the larger global economy [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Academic Research, Agriculture, Aluminum, Biofuels, Coal, Coffee, Commodity ETFs, Commodity Futures, Commodity Producers, Copper, Corn, Energy, Gold, Industrial Metals, Natural Gas, Precious Metals, Soybeans, Steel, Sugar, Wheat | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Soft Commodity ETFs Suffer A Slaughter

As markets prepare for another four years of Barack Obama, it is safe to say that trading has been anything but smooth. With most benchmarks suffering a poor string of sessions last week, many are looking to the near-term or have focused on exactly what happened last week. But with commodity investing, it is always important to take a look at longer-developing trends, as they can often signal how a particular asset will perform in the near future [for more softs news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Agriculture, Cocoa, Coffee, Cotton, Sugar | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Alert: 3 Key Commodities in Backwardation

When it comes to futures investing, contango and backwardation are two phenomenons that traders should always keep an eye on. Backwardation is simply the process whereby near month futures are more expensive than those expiring further into the future, creating a downward sloping curve for future prices over time [for more commodity futures news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Actionable Ideas, Agriculture, Asset Allocation, Brent Oil, Commodity Futures, Corn, Energy, Soybeans, Sugar, WTI | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment