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]
For energy traders, the winter months are some of the most active of the year as demand for commodities like natural gas often skyrockets. With weatherman forecasting this December to be the coldest since 1983, investors could be in for some lucrative plays in the natural gas market. Cold weather has already begun to sweep across the nation, with the Midwest and Northeast–two regions that rely heavily on gas for heating–already experiencing plummeting temperatures since before Thanksgiving [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Over the last few years, investors have witnessed the U.S. become a dominant force in the crude oil and natural gas space, thanks in part to rapid development in technologies. The use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has boomed in recent years, as the technology has made it possible to reach significant oil and gas resources that had previously demonstrated a poor flow rate and weren’t economically accessible [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
So far in 2013, commodity markets have had a troublesome year, with many analysts speculating that the epic commodity boom seen in recent years is finally over. On the equity side, however, major commodity producers have benefited from this year’s bull run, logging in double- and triple-digit gains. Oil and gas producers in particular continue to come out on top, while precious and industrial metal miners struggle to stay out of the red. But on this Thanksgiving Day, it is perhaps most appropriate for us to reflect on those commodity producers we’re particularly grateful for [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Though many day traders base their decisions on technical trends, savvy commodity traders also incorporate factual fundamental reports into their research to ensure that they are on the right side of the trade at all times. For energy traders, the data and outlook provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) are some of the most important reports to follow [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
In recent years, investors have witnessed the U.S. become a dominant force in the crude oil space, thanks in part to a development in technologies like fracking as well as more pipelines distributing the energy resource around the nation. Currently, the U.S. produces roughly 11.1 million barrels per day, and in 2012 the country exported more than 1.17 billion barrels around the globe. As global demand for the U.S.’s sweet crude oil increases, other producers have started to feel the pressure of the competition and increasing stockpiles of crude. As such, regions like Europe have started to look elsewhere to sell their mounting surplus of oil and gasoline [for more energy news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Warren Buffett–the Oracle of Omaha–is one of the world’s most renowned investors, heralded for his simple yet effective valuation methods. As such, followers of the legendary investor pay close attention to when Buffett places big bets, and they hope that by following his stock picks, they will cash in on Buffett’s guru-like instincts [for more commodity stock news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
For mining and exploration companies, 2013 has been somewhat of a brutal year. Metal miners in particular have been hit significantly this year as falling metal prices, weaker demand, and rising operational costs continue to plague the industry. Popular exchange-traded funds, like Van Eck’s Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ), and other industry giants, such as Barrick Gold (ABX), have suffered significant losses these year; both of these securities have shed more than 45% year-to-date [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].