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Commodity Monthly Monitor - Commodities buck cyclical shakedown Your reference guide to commodity markets. Includes the latest outlook for each commodity sector and major developments for individual commodities.

Commodity Monthly Monitor – Commodities buck cyclical shakedown Your reference guide to commodity markets. Includes the latest outlook for each commodity sector and major developments for individual commodities.

Summary

  • After capitulating in 2017, agricultural prices are picking up momentum in 2018.
  • Industrial metals continue to outperform based on strong fundamentals.
  • The energy complex was a drag on commodity performance last month.
  • Silver prices to play catch up as fundamentals improve.

Summary

While the S&P500, cryptocurrencies and bond prices fell last month, commodities posted gains. The S&P500 volatility index is now back to its normal territory after a protracted period of being subdued. Cyclical commodities like industrial metals however, continue to trade higher on firm fundamentals. Gains were not homogenous in commodities: the unsustainable rise in oil prices in January faltered in February and palladium has begun to unwind, coming closer to parity with platinum after consistently trading above since October 2017.As China re-opens after the New Year celebrations, better quality data from the largest consumer of commodities will come due.

Year-on-year comparisons of data from China in the months of January and February are very difficult because the timing of lunar New Year is not the same each year on the Georgian calendar. However, the Caixin China manufacturing purchasing managers index indicates that manufacturing output hit a 13-month high in January, setting a strong scene for industrial metals.The commodity complex was aided by a softer US Dollar. However, Federal Open Market Committee minutes (released after the cut-off of data in this report), indicate the US central bank is ready to raise rates faster than the market had previously assumed. That could lead to US Dollar appreciation if other central banks fail to reflect a similarly strong policy message

Rock bottom?

After capitulating in 2017, agricultural prices are picking up momentum in 2018. Prices have fallen so low that any hint of ‘good news’ appears to spark a rally.Industrial metals continue to outperform based on strong fundamentals. Despite the onslaught of the global equity market correction, industrial metals recouped their initial losses as fundamentals prevailed. Ongoing supply deficits for most metals coupled with strong demand bode well for the sector.

Commodity performance last month

The energy complex was a drag on commodity performance last month. A return to more normal weather in the US dampened natural gas prices while oil gave back unsustainable gains from January. The only area of the energy complex to post an increase was the price of carbon as environmental regulation is expected to address a glut in permits. Silver prices to play catch up as fundamentals improve.

The gold to silver ratio is currently at 81 (as on 16 February 2018), its highest level since April 2016. We expect silver prices to catch up owing to the continued strength in the industrial cycle and a constrained mine supply. Although the fundamentals remain strong : ongoing supply deficits and buoyant auto sales in China, we would not rule out further price correction from current levels given the sharp run up in prices in 2017.

For more information contact:

Catarina Donat Marques
ETF Securities (UK) Limited
T +44 20 7448 4386
E catarina.donatmarques@etfsecurities.com

Important Information

The analyses in the above tables are purely for information purposes. They do not reflect the performance of any ETF Securities’ products . The futures and roll returns are not necessarily investable.

General

This communication has been provided by ETF Securities (UK) Limited (“ETFS UK”) which is authorised and regulated by the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”).

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