Tag Archives: agriculture

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 […]

El Niño Won’t Keep This Commodity Hot

Commodities have faced many headwinds this year from the strong U.S. dollar, high supply from OPEC and the slowing Chinese demand growth. The S&P GSCI Total Return hit a 15 year low in August, 23 of 24 commodities dropped in July and the 3rd quarter was the 3rd worst in history. For the year, all sectors are negative and Read more […]

Selling Oil Won’t Feed Iran

Now that negotiators have reached a deal aimed at reining in Iran’s nuclear program, Iran may get relief from some sanctions that may allow it to raise oil output. Though it could take time for supply to come onto the market, it depends on how long it takes for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to verify Read more […]

Commodities “To Be Or Not To Be” GROWN

There are no conclusive definitions of an asset class or definitive lists of asset classes, but asset allocation depends on how one chooses to define asset classes that collectively form the opportunity set. A company owned by Morningstar called Ibbotson Associates together with PIMCO pulled together some research on the topic that I think is interesting. They present a Read more […]

Smart Rolls Rise From Select Agriculture

The oil price drop has precipitated a flurry of interest around enhanced oil indices since the benefits of enhancing rolls in energy are well understood from the obviously costly storage situations in oil. Below is a chart of the ten year cumulative return of the S&P GSCI Crude Oil Total Return versus the S&P GSCI Crude Oil Enhanced Total Read more […]

Currency Wars: Pandering to Debase

So far this year, we have seen a ravenous interest from U.S. investors in currency-hedged equity exposure.  Currency risks have increased; currency volatility is on the up: The reasons behind these trends can be understood in part via the nature of human psychology and power, and the reality of politics. Consider yourself, for a brief Read more […]

The Commodity Flip NOT Flop Of 2014

Six months ago, commodities looked like they were on the brink of a comeback. The S&P GSCI Total Return gained 7.4% YTD through June 20 at its high.  Back then, almost a record number of commodities, 12, were in backwardation, reflecting shortages in Brent Crude, Cocoa, Copper, Corn, Cotton, WTI Crude Oil, Feeder Cattle, Gold, Live Cattle, Natural Gas, Soybeans and Unleaded Read more […]

Fed Up With High Prices? July Opened A Window of Opportunity

After much economic activity this week, the Fed announced inflation moved “somewhat closer” to the objective and is showing signs of firming after running below its 2% target for the past two years.  In the last June report from the United States Department of Labor, food prices continued to increase although at a slower pace and unleaded gasoline prices had Read more […]

Climate Change May Destroy The Risk Premium

I fear the risk premium for agriculture and livestock may vanish sometime soon as climate change and El Nino drive up food prices. When investing in commodities as an asset class there are five components of return to be earned by using futures. While each component’s contribution to performance varies through time depending on the Read more […]

Weighing In: Reaching Your Goal Weight

“Weighing In:” will be a series of posts comparing and contrasting the impact of different weighting schemes within commodity indices. The series will be the first to feature our two headline indices, the equally weighted Dow Jones Commodity Index (DJCI) and the world production weighted S&P GSCI.  The purpose of the series is to help you reach your portfolio goals Read more […]