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

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

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

For Day Traders: The Most Liquid ETF for Every Commodity

The introduction of commodity ETFs brought trading to a whole new level, as your average retail investor now has the opportunity to trade something like natural gas futures through a single ticker. As the years have gone on, a number of these products have grown to be some of the most widely-used financial instruments for their respective commodity. One advantage to ETFs, however, is that liquidity is not hindered by average volume due the the creation process. Instead, there will just be some funds that are more liquid and tradable than others [for more commodity ETF news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Academic Research, Actionable Ideas, Agriculture, Alternative Energy, Aluminum, Asset Allocation, Brent Oil, Cocoa, Coffee, Commodity ETF Analysis, Commodity ETFs, Copper, Corn, Cotton, Energy, Gasoline, Gold, Heating Oil, Industrial Metals, Lead, Livestock, Natural Gas, Nickel, Nuclear, Palladium, Platinum, Precious Metals, Silver, Solar, Soybeans, Sugar, Tin, Wheat, Wind | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

For Long Term Investors: The Cheapest ETF for Every Commodity

After gathering more than $1 trillion in total assets under management, ETFs have cemented their place in the financial world. Among the universe of nearly 1,500 products, commodity funds have garnered a lot of attention, as these products have democratized an asset class that was once difficult to reach by retail investors. Now, there are a number of exchange-traded options to help you gain exposure to your favorite hard assets, all at a low cost.

Posted in Academic Research, Actionable Ideas, Agriculture, Alternative Energy, Aluminum, Asset Allocation, Brent Oil, Cocoa, Coffee, Commodity ETF Analysis, Commodity ETFs, Commodity Futures, Copper, Corn, Cotton, Energy, Gasoline, Gold, Heating Oil, Industrial Metals, Lead, Livestock, Natural Gas, Nickel, Nuclear, Palladium, Platinum, Precious Metals, Silver, Solar, Soybeans, Steel, Sugar, Tin, Wheat, Wind, WTI | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Sugar Stuck in a Spiral

Sugar is one of the most highly coveted soft commodities in the world, as its consumption and production make up a large part of many emerging market economies. As an investment, sugar futures and related products have a high attraction among investors as they offer significant volatility and potentially strong gains (or, of course, losses). Though this sweet commodity followed its historical trend of spiking in early summer, the past few weeks have been mostly sour for sugar, as the commodity has racked up losses of nearly 17% [for more sugar news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Agriculture, Sugar | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Which Sugar ETF Is Right For You? SGG vs. SGAR vs. CANE

Over the years, sugar has grown to be one of the most widely used soft commodities in the world with its number of applications going well beyond simple food production. As with all agricultural investments, sugar is known to exhibit significant volatility, making the commodity a lucrative investment tool for those looking for a sweet return. Additionally, sugar has been shown to maintain a fairly low correlation to other asset classes, such as stocks, giving investors yet another option to add meaningful diversification to their portfolios [for more sugar news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Agriculture, Asset Allocation, Commodity ETF Analysis, Commodity ETFs, Commodity Futures, Sugar | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Five Minute Guide To Sugar ETFs

Sugar is another of the so-called breakfast commodities, along with coffee, cocoa and orange juice. Like the others, it also has a rich history. It is thought to have been first used by humans in Polynesia many centuries ago, but was not discovered by Europeans until the 11th century thanks to the Crusades. It was first brought to the Americas by Columbus in 1493 and soon thereafter it was found that the sugar cane plant grew extremely well in tropical environments [see also Jim Rogers Says: Buy Commodities Now, Or You’ll Hate Yourself Later]. 

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