Commodities took investors on another wild ride for 2014. This year was characterized by yet another bull market for U.S. equities that was accompanied by a surging greenback. The strong dollar put pressure on the entire commodity industry.
With that in mind, many investors kept their sights set on the equity world, as commodities took the back seat yet again. As more accusations of the “commodity supercycle” come to a close, a number of hard assets struggled on the year. Still, others prevailed and were able to turn in handsome gains. Below, we present the best and worst performing commodities of 2014 starting off with the five best performers:
Coffee futures got off to a hot start this year and never let up as supply fell short of global demand, pushing its price higher. Cattle futures saw a marked increase as well, with sugar and cocoa rounding out the final two spots.
This list would have looked a lot different just a few months ago, but energy has taken a major nosedive as the year draws to a close. Hefty production around the world and anemic demand have been among the biggest issues for energy, but the problems are also political, as tensions between Russia and the rest of the world have shaken up a number of big name commodities. A number of hedge funds and investors have begun to bet on a rebound for the energy space, but time will tell just how long it will be before these assets find a definitive bottom [see also 2 Energy Stocks to Buy on the Dip: ETE and MMP].
The Bottom Line
As the near six-year bull run continued its pace, commodities were put on the back-burner for 2014. As 2015 rolls around and analysts and investors continue to question how long the run higher will last, a number of hard assets may have a bright future in store.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.