Category Archives: Commodities

Chinese Growth Concerns Weigh Heavy on Metals

Industrial metals hit multi-year highs last month with the S&P GSCI Industrial Metals Index up off its bottom nearly 60%.  This was mainly due to strong Chinese demand growth and a falling US dollar.  While the dollar has continued its fall in September, there is some concern over slowing growth in China.  On average, returns Read more […]

Metals Never Had An August This Hot

In August, the Dow Jones Commodity Index Total Return gained 0.7%, reducing its year-to-date loss to -1.4%, and the S&P GSCI Total Return lost 0.8%, increasing its year-to-date loss to -6.9%.  Industrial metals and precious metals were the only positive sectors, up 8.6% and 4.0%, respectively, while agriculture was the worst performing sector, losing 7.4%, Read more […]

Chinese Demand Growth Lifts Every Commodity

Many news headlines point to rising or falling Chinese demand growth as a main influence of commodity performance.  However, there are many other fundamentals like the U.S. dollar and interest rates that drive commodities.  Even in the Chinese market, there are forces besides demand growth like demand for storage and demand for metals to be used as financial Read more […]

Energy Posts Its Best July Since 2004

The S&P GSCI Energy Total Return gained 8.1% in July, the most for a July in 13 years, led by petroleum that was up 9.2%.  Finally the fundamentals may be showing the oil market is starting to rebalance with the rest of the commodities.   The S&P GSCI Total Return had its best month this year, gaining Read more […]

Energy Just Had Its Worst Start in 19 Years

Commodities just had their worst start in seven years.  The S&P GSCI Total Return lost 10.2% year-to-date (YTD) ending June 30, 2017, logging its worst first half (H1) performance since the first six months of 2010 when it lost 11.2%. However, it’s not the bloodbath it may seem to be.  Half, or 12 of the Read more […]

Commodities Ex-Energy Are Fine Despite Contango

Energy is back in a bear market now led by oil’s slide mainly due to rising output from Libya and Nigeria, two OPEC members exempt from cutting supply.  The S&P GSCI Energy Total Return is on pace for its worst quarter since the fourth quarter of 2015 losing -13.4% quarter-to-date (through June 19, 2017.) This is driven Read more […]

Inflation, Rising Rates Can Spark Oil’s Rebound

In anticipation of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting starting Wednesday that may raise the federal funds target rate, here’s what you need to know about how the decision impacts commodities. Historically rising interest rates are positive for commodities for two main reasons.  One is the return on collateral increases, pushing up the total return. The other reason Read more […]

Commodities Mixed in May Might Pay

No single sector dominated commodity performance in May, which means the supply-side is currently more potent than macro factors like global aggregate demand, the dollar, interest rates or inflation.  Each commodity is being driven by something in its own supply/demand model, mostly unrelated to one another.  That is not just lowering the intra-commodity correlation that can create buying Read more […]

OPEC’s Cuts Are Shrinking Trading Opportunities

The unintended consequences of OPEC’s policy (in summer of 2014) of flooding the market with oil to lower prices and gain market share are starting to show.  It seems they failed to realize increasing the price by cutting back supply wouldn’t work with high U.S. inventories.  The spare capacity of OPEC does not matter for Read more […]

Is Trump Making Commodities Great Again In His First 100 Days?

The short answer is no.  The S&P GSCI (Spot) is down 4.0% since Jan 20, which is the 6th worst start of the 8 presidencies measurable by the S&P GSCI.  Besides Trump, the data covers the start of the presidencies for Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama. However, not all Read more […]