Connect with us

Analys

SEB – Råvarukommentarer, 1 april 2013

Published

on

SEB Veckobrev med prognoser på råvaror

Rekommendationer

SEB - Rekommentation på råvaror den 1 april 2013

*) Avkastningen avser 1:1 råvarucertifikat där de ingår i rekommendationen. I den aktuella tabellen ovan har jag tagit prisförändringen den senaste veckan sedan det förra veckobrevet publicerades.

Inledning

Den här veckans veckobrev måste handla primärt om den ultrabaissiga Stocks- & Plantingsrapporten från USDA i torsdags. Den fick majs och vete att falla limit down och det kommer att vara nerförsbacke härifrån.

Marknadens missbedömning var en av de största någonsin och marknadsrörelsen på Skärtorsdagen en av de största någonsin, i majs bara dämpad av den största tillåtna prisrörelsen. Sådden av majs väntas ske på 97.3 miljoner acres, något över marknadens förväntningar. Det är den största arealen sedan 1936.

De amerikanska börserna var stängda på Långfredagen, men är öppna på Annandag Påsk. Europa är dock stängt och öppnar först på tisdag. Vi kan förvänta oss betydligt lägre priser på tisdag.

Läsaren kanske kommer ihåg att jag här förra veckan skrev att den rekyl uppåt som vi sett fram till i torsdags, var ett bra tillfälle för lantbrukare att prissäkra. Jag skrev också att risk / reward var på nedsidan, eftersom de senaste rapporterna lett till uppgångar. Nu tänker förmodligen många att ”det är för sent” att prissäkra. I synnerhet som priserna kommer stå ännu lägre på tisdag när Europa öppnar. Att inte prissäkra på tisdag tror jag är ett misstag. Det kommer säkerligen att gå nedåt härifrån. Låt inte ett misstag bli ett misslyckande.

Vi går över till säljrekommendation på alla grödor.

Stocks & Plantings – rapporten i siffror

Lagren av vete, majs och sojabönor var per den 1 mars betydligt högre än vad marknaden förväntat sig, som vi ser i tabellen nedan.

Stocks and plantings

Lagerestimaten år så stora att man undrar om det inte var fel – för låga siffror i decemberrapporten, eller om lagren nu möjligtvis är för stora. Om marknaden tror på siffrorna, och det gör den med all säkerhet, så finns knappast längre någon anledning till oro för att det är kallt och sådden blivit försenad. Vad gäller sojabönor försvann också oron för att sojabönorna ska ta slut i USA innan Brasilien får ut sina.

Sådd areal, som vi ser nedan hade marknadens analytiker bättre koll på, utom för vårvete och durum. Men vi vet redan tidigare att sådden väntas bli mycket stor i år.

Sådd areal för vete, majs och sojabönor

Nedan ser vi prisförändringarna på de senaste årens rapportdagar. Prisreaktionen är uppmätt i respektive års decemberkontrakt för vete och majs och november för sojabönor.

Prisförändringar

Råvaruindex

I diagrammet nedan ser vi SEB:s råvaruindex (svart) och det svenska aktieindexet OMXS30 (röd).

SEB:s råvaruindex (svart) och det svenska aktieindexet OMXS30 (röd).

Den som vill investera i indexet och den investeringsstrategi som ligger bakom kan läsa mer om certifikatet RAVAROR S.

Råolja – Brent

Oljepriset har fortsatt att falla. Vi tror att priset kommer att fortsätta ligga på den här nivån och rekommenderar köp.

Diagram över prognos på brent-olja

Det är framförallt terminer med kort löptid som har fallit. Backwardation har minskat, som vi ser i diagrammet nedan.

Backwardation minskar för olja

Det betyder också att rullningsavkastningen man får genom att vara köpt olja via terminer har minskat. Å andra sidan har spotpriset blivit billigare, så det jämnar ut sig. Nedan ser vi roll returns mellan andra och fjärde positions terminskontrakt på Brent som har minskat den senaste månaden. Med andra positions terminskontrakt menas det terminskontrakt som förfaller om två månader och med fjärde position, det som förfaller om fyra månader.

Rullningsavkastning för terminer på olja

Lagren och lagerförändringarna i USA per den 22 mars ser vi nedan, enligt Department of Energy och American Petroleum Institute.

Lager och lagerförändringar av olja

Notera att heating oil minskade kraftigt, pga det kalla vädret och att råoljelagren fyllts på ytterligare. Det beror på att importen noterade en ovanligt stor ökning från veckan innan.

Nedan ser vi amerikanska råoljelager enligt DOE i tusen fat. Den svarta kurvan är 2012 års lagernivåer vecka för vecka och den lilla röda linjen är 2013 års nivå. Vi ser att lagernivåerna fortsätter att vara högre än de varit sedan 2007 för den här tiden på året.

Råoljelager i USA

I veckans statistik ser vi att importen ökade till över 8 miljoner fat per dag.

Import av olja i USA

Vi rekommenderar köp av OLJA S, men inte av BULL OLJA S. Nu när priset dessutom kommit ner mot den lägre delen av det etablerade prisintervallet 105 – 120 dollar är läget att köpa OLJA S särskilt bra.

Elektricitet

Priset el har fortsatt att rusa. Den hydrologiska balansen visar stort underskott och skulle detta ha inträffat för några år sedan skulle vi ha mycket högre elpris än vad vi har nu. Sverige har exporterat vattenkraften eftersom det varit lönsamt att göra det.

Elpriset stiger kraftigt

Kolpriserna som styr priset på el på längre sikt har däremot gått i motsatt riktning, som vi ser i ett femårsdiagram nedan. Priset är i dollar per ton.

Diagram - Kolpriset sjunker

Den hydrologiska balansen för NordPools börsområde har sjunkit ytterligare från -18.68 TWh till -21.36 TWh.

Hydrologisk balans i Nordpools börsområde

Sammanfattningsvis. Vi rekommenderar en köpt position i elpriset. För normal risknivå väljer man EL S. Den som vill ta mer risk kan välja BULL EL X2 S och den som vill ta riktigt mycket risk och få fyra gångers hävstång på dagliga prisförändringar väljer BULL EL X4 S.

Naturgas

Amerikansk naturgas har lagt sig över 4 dollar. Lagernivåerna är lägre än tidigare år vid samma tid.

Amerikansk naturgas över 4 dollar

Guld & Silver

Guldpriset har inte reagerat på Cypernkris och Nordkorea-fars som det borde. Uppgången i priset borde ha varit större. När dessa faktorer klingar av och guldpriset får en nedgångsfas kan prisfallet bli lättare avklarat, kanske ner till 1550.

Guldpriset i nedåtgående fas

Detsamma gäller silver, som skulle kunna falla ner till 27 dollar, genom stödet på 28 dollar.

Silverpriset i sjunkande trend

Platina & Palladium

Platina rör sig sakta nedåt, i vad som ser ut som en förberedelse för en uppgång igen. På BRIC:s konferensen förra veckan sade Rysslands vice premiärminister att Ryssland och Sydafrika ska bilda en OPEC-liknande kartell för platina. Tillsammans står länderna för 80% av global gruvproduktion av platina. Blir detta verklighet och de sätter in begränsningar i tillförseln, kan priset gå upp väsentligt.

Platinapris rör sig sakta nedåt

Palladium har rört sig sidledes och uppgången ser ut att ha tappat den hel del av sitt momentum. En uppgång över 777 dollar skulle bekräfta att uppåttrenden är intakt.

Pris på palladium

Koppar

Kopparmarknaden har fortsatt att utveckla sig svagt, samtidigt som lagren vid LME har fortsatt att öka. Priset ser ut att vara på väg ner mot historiska bottennivåer, där en del producenter inte går runt. Detta är vad som kallas för kopparprisets ”fundamentala golv”. På lite längre sikt kan det vara en bra idé att köpa på dessa nivåer.

Neutral rekommendation på koppar

Den tekniska bilden ger stöd till vår neutrala position. Vi är positiva till basmetaller på sikt men avvaktar bättre köptillfällen alternativt väljer någon annan basmetall.

Som vi skrivit tidigare tyder mycket på ökat utbud för koppar, vilket ökar risken för en lite trögare marknad. Vi ser inte den stora potentialen på koppar på uppsidan just nu. Vi rekommenderar därför en fortsatt neutral position. För den som vill satsa på ett starkare tillväxtscenario (än konsensus) i Kina är koppar däremot alltid ett intressant alternativ.

Aluminium

Aluminium har fallit ner till ”botten” i det intervall som priset handlats i det senaste året. Vid 1900 dollar finns ett starkt stöd och vid 1850 ungefär ytterligare ett. Vid dessa nivåer har producenter svårt att gå runt, det ”fundamentala golvet”. Vi tror att aluminium är attraktivt att köpa på den här nivån och rekommenderar ALUMINIUM S.

Aluminium intressant att köpa

Zink

Priset på zink har fallit i sympati med andra basmetaller. Däremot ser vi att lagren vid LME (röd kurva) har passerat sin högsta nivå. Kurvan pekar nu nedåt. Även för zink ligger priserna lågt i förhållande till det prisintervall som metallen handlats inom det senaste året. Vi rekommenderar en köpt position i ZINK S.

Diagram på zinkpriset

Nickel

Lagerökningen är som vi ser (röd linje) stadig för nickel. Priset på nickel har inte fallit lika långt ner i det senaste årets prisintervall. En del frågar sig om man ska tolka detta som att nickel handlar starkare än andra metaller eller om nickel är dyrt i förhållande till andra metaller. Förmodligen lite av båda sakerna.

Rekommendation av köpa nickel

Vi rekommenderar köp av NICKEL S eller BULL NICKEL X2 / X4 S för den som vill ta mer risk. Vi varnade för en rekyl, och den kom. Priset har fallit mer än ”befarat”, men är nu på väldigt attraktiva nivåer.

Kaffe

Kaffepriset (maj 2013) har rekylerat upp till vad som tidigare varit ett stöd och nu är ett motstånd. Priset på Arabica ”borde” vara på väg att vända upp, men vändningen har dröjt. Vi väntar med köprekommendation till dess vi sett något tydligare tecken på att trenden kan ha vänt. Den har inte gjort det än.

Kaffepris - Termin Coffee C

Priset på den sämre kaffesorten Robusta har hållit sig stark. I diagrammet nedan ser vi dess prisutveckling som dne röda kurvan. Man kan tolka det som att efterfrågan på kaffe äger rum i tillväxtländer, som väljer den sämre – och billigare Robustan. Rika länder som väljer den lyxigare Arabican, har uppenbarligen inte haft lika stor efterfrågan. Brasilianska bönder lär också ha sålt mest av sämre kvaliteter av arabica. Den högsta kvaliteten finns fortfarande kvar på gårdarna.

Kaffepris på KC1 och DF1

Vi fortsätter med neutral rekommendation.

Socker

Sockerpriset (maj 2013) har också fortsatt att falla. Det såg ut som ett försök till trendvändning i mars, men detta vändes i sin motsats.

Neutral rekommendation på sockerpris

Vi tror att en trendvändning kan vara på gång, men väntar till dess att den bekräftar sig lite bättre. Vi fortsätter alltså att förhålla oss neutralt till socker.

[box]SEB Veckobrev Veckans råvarukommentar är producerat av SEB Merchant Banking och publiceras i samarbete och med tillstånd på Råvarumarknaden.se[/box]

Disclaimer

The information in this document has been compiled by SEB Merchant Banking, a division within Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (publ) (“SEB”).

Opinions contained in this report represent the bank’s present opinion only and are subject to change without notice. All information contained in this report has been compiled in good faith from sources believed to be reliable. However, no representation or warranty, expressed or implied, is made with respect to the completeness or accuracy of its contents and the information is not to be relied upon as authoritative. Anyone considering taking actions based upon the content of this document is urged to base his or her investment decisions upon such investigations as he or she deems necessary. This document is being provided as information only, and no specific actions are being solicited as a result of it; to the extent permitted by law, no liability whatsoever is accepted for any direct or consequential loss arising from use of this document or its contents.

About SEB

SEB is a public company incorporated in Stockholm, Sweden, with limited liability. It is a participant at major Nordic and other European Regulated Markets and Multilateral Trading Facilities (as well as some non-European equivalent markets) for trading in financial instruments, such as markets operated by NASDAQ OMX, NYSE Euronext, London Stock Exchange, Deutsche Börse, Swiss Exchanges, Turquoise and Chi-X. SEB is authorized and regulated by Finansinspektionen in Sweden; it is authorized and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Services Authority for the conduct of designated investment business in the UK, and is subject to the provisions of relevant regulators in all other jurisdictions where SEB conducts operations. SEB Merchant Banking. All rights reserved.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Din e-postadress kommer inte publiceras. Obligatoriska fält är märkta *

Analys

Metals price forecast: Lower Before Higher

Published

on

SEB - analysbrev på råvaror

Lower before higher

SEB - Prognoser på råvaror - Commodity

The world is slowing down along with fiscal and monetary tightening. The rapid rise in interest rates this year will work with a lag so the slowdown in the real economy is likely to continue. We expect metals prices to ease along with that. The continued deterioration in the Chinese property market is likely structural with growth shifting towards higher value sectors including green energy and EVs. Chinese credit expansion has started. Stronger demand for metals like copper, nickel and aluminium is likely to emerge in H2-23. Strong prices for metals over the coming decade due to sub-par capex spending over the past decade is likely.

Bjarne Schieldrop, Chief analyst commodities at SEB
Bjarne Schieldrop, Chief analyst commodities, SEB

Weakening macro and weakening demand. The world is now in the grip of a tightening craze amid inflation panic which was the result of the stimulus boom ignited by Covid-19 panic. The US expanded its M2 monetary base by 30% of GDP during the stimulus boom. Donald Trump earlier clamped down on immigration from Mexico/Latin America. Rampant consumer spending on capital goods together with an ultra-tight labor market then led to intense inflation pressure in the US. But also, in many other countries which also stimulated too much. The US is ahead of the curve with respect to interest rate hikes. The USD has rallied, forcing many central banks around the world to lift rates to defend their currencies as well as fighting their own inflationary pressures. The Japanese central bank has refrained from doing so and has instead intervened in the yen currency market for the first time since 1998. The year 2022 will likely be the worst selloff in global government bonds since 1949 as interest rates rise rapidly from very low levels. This is taking place following a decade where the world has been gorging on ultra-cheap debt. There is clearly a risk that something will break apart somewhere in the financial system as the world gallops through this extreme roller coaster ride of stimulus and tightening. On top of this we have and energy crisis in Europe where natural gas prices for year 2023 currently is priced at 700% of normal levels. War in Ukraine, risk for the use of nuclear weapons, an enduring cool-down of the Chinese property market and continued lock-downs in China due to Covid-19 is adding plenty of uncertain elements.

Downside price risks for metals over the coming 6-9 months. The significant rise in rates around the world will work with a lag. There can be up to a 12-month lag from rates starts to rise to when they take real effect. Continued economic cool-down in the economy is thus likely. Chinese politicians seem unlikely to run yet another round of property market-based stimulus. As such there are clearly downside risks to global economic growth and industrial metals prices over the coming 6 months.

China may be a “White Swan Event” in H2-23 onward. LME’s China seminar in London on Monday 24 October this year was very interesting. The brightest spot in our view was Jinny Yang, the Chief China economist at ICBC Standard Bank. She stated that China may turn out to be a “white swan event” in H2-2023. Further that the Chinese economy now is on a decade long type of transition period. Away from property focused growth. With a shift instead to technology and innovation, telecoms and energy transition, consumer demand side economy and higher value and more advanced sectors. The property market will be a fading sector with respect to growth. Chinese politicians are fully committed to the energy transition. No slowdown in there. Credit expansion has already started. The real effect of that will emerge in H2-23. The new growth focus will be different from before. But it will still imply lots of metals like aluminium, copper, nickel, zinc, cobalt, manganese, and other special metals. There will be less copper for pipes and wiring for housing but there will be more copper for EVs, Solar power, Wind power and power networks etc.

Copper: Struggling supply from Chile, rising supply from Africa while Russian exports keeps flowing to market. The Chinese housing market normally accounts for 20% of global copper demand. So, slowing Chinese housing market is bad for copper. Russian exports keep flowing to SE Asia where it is re-exported. Good supply growth is expected from Africa in 2023. Supply from Chile is struggling with falling ore grades, political headwinds, and mining strikes. Demand is projected to boom over the coming decades while investments in new mines have been sub-par over the past decade. So strong prices in the medium to longer term. But in the short-term the negative demand forces will likely have the upper hand.

Nickel: Tight high-quality nickel market but surplus for low-quality nickel. There is currently a plentiful supply of low-grade nickel with weak stainless-steel demand and strong demand for high quality nickel for EV batteries. The result is a current USD 5-6000/ton price premium for high-quality vs. low-quality nickel. High-quality LME grade nickel now only accounts for 25% of the global nickel market. Over the coming decade there will be strong demand growth for high-quality nickel for EV batteries, but high-quality NiSO4 will take center stage. The price of high-quality nickel over the coming decade will depend on how quickly the world can ramp up low-grade to high-grade conversion capacity.

Aluminium: Russian production and exports keeps flowing at normal pace to the market through different routes. Supply from the western world set to expand by 1.3 m ton pa in 2023, the biggest expansion in a decade. Demand is projected to grow strongly over the decade to come with energy transition and EVs being strong sources of demand. Western premiums likely to stay elevated versus Asian premiums to attract metal. Increasing focus on low carbon aluminium. But weakness before strength.

SEB commodities price forecast:

SEB commodities price forecast

Chinese credit cycle vs industrial metals. Chinese credit expansion has already started.

Chinese credit cycle vs industrial metals
Source: SEB calculations, data from Blberg

This report has been compiled by SEB´s Commodity Research, a division within Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (publ) (”SEB”), to provide background information only.

Continue Reading

Analys

Europe’s energy policy unravels a potential advantage for US energy over Europe

Published

on

WisdomTree
WidsomTree

The clock is ticking for Europe to shield its economy amidst the current energy crisis. The cost of electricity across the European bloc is nearly 10 times the 10-year average in response to Russia cutting back natural gas supplies in retaliation to sanctions. There has been a substantial increase in the share of supply of Liquidifies Natural Gas (LNG) and alternative suppliers as a direct replacement of waning Russian gas supply.

Figure 1: Natural gas flows in the European market, first half 2022 versus first half 2021

Karta hur importen av naturgas till Europa har förändrats
Source: Bruegel, WisdomTree as of 6 September 2022. Please note: Arrows width indicates size of 2022 flow.

European leaders are racing to come up with a plan on energy intervention in the power markets. One of the measures being touted is imposing an energy windfall tax on oil and gas profits to help households and businesses survive this upcoming winter season. The plan is to re-channel these unexpected profits from the energy sector to help domestic consumers and companies pay these high bills. The windfall tax on the oil and gas companies should be treated as a “solidarity contribution,” according to European Commission (EC) President, Ursula von der Leyen.

Imposing a windfall tax on those profiting from the war

A windfall tax would impose a levy on the revenues generated by non-gas producing companies when market prices exceed €200 per megawatt hour (Mwh) and redistribute excess revenues to vulnerable companies and households. There has been greater consensus among other European Union (EU) countries on the windfall tax compared to other parts of the European Commission’s 5-point plan. This includes – setting a price cap on Russian gas, a mandatory reduction in peak electricity demand, funding for ailing utility companies, a windfall tax on fossil fuel companies and changes to collateral requirements for electricity companies. The EC’s plan will need to meet the approval of the bloc before being enforced. The most controversial issue remains the Russian price cap – aimed at penalising Russia for weaponising energy.

Coordinated energy policy needed despite different energy mix across EU bloc

There are major differences between member states based on those that rely on coal, nuclear or renewable power owing to which imposing a one energy policy will be challenging. Austria, Hungary, and Slovakia, known to import large amounts of Russian gas are against the price cap on Russian gas. On the other hand, a number of  EU countries including France, Italy, and Poland, support a cap, but argue it should apply to all imported forms of the fuel, including LNG. Germany is undecided but fears the disagreements on the price caps risk spoiling EU unity. Spain, a big generator of wind and solar power was quick to draw criticism of the proposed €200/Mwh as it does not correspond to the real costs and fails to support electrification and the deployment of renewables.

In the US, various Senators including Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden, have proposed legislation that would double the tax rate of large oil and gas companies excess profits. However, given the current political climate it seems increasingly unlikely that these proposals would gain any traction in Congress.

Europe’s energy policy likely to put a strain on capex in the near term

Since the oil price plunge from 2014 to 2016 alongside climate change awareness and Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) mandates, the energy sector saw a sharp decline in capital expenditure (capex). Since then, capex in the global energy sector has failed to attain the levels last seen at the peak in 2014. While capex trends in Europe’s energy sector had begun to outpace that of the US, driven mainly by a rise in the share of spending on clean energy, we believe the impending energy crisis and energy policy including the national windfall levies in Europe are likely to disincentivise capex in Europe compared to the US over the medium term. High prices are encouraging several countries to step up fossil fuel investment, as they seek to secure and diversify their sources of supply.

Source: Bloomberg, WisdomTree as of 31 August 2022.

The divergent energy policies and prevalent supply situations in the US and Europe opens up a potential opportunity in the energy sector. The energy sector has been the unique bright spot in global equity markets in 2022 posting the strongest earnings results in H1 2022. Despite its strong price performance, the US energy sector trades at a price to earnings (P/E) ratio of 8x and has a dividend yield of 3%. In September 2008, the energy sector had a 12.5% weight in the S&P 500 and was the fourth largest sector by market capitalisation in the world’s largest economy and equity market. Fast forward to today, the energy sector accounts for only 4% of the S&P 500 Index. While the future trajectory is greener, the world has come to terms with the fact that we will require oil and gas in the interim in order to fulfil our energy requirements. Investment is increasing in all parts of the energy sector, but the main boost in recent years has come from the power sector – mainly in renewables and grids – and from increased spending on end-use efficiency. As Europe plans to reduce its reliance on Russian energy supply, it will become more reliant on US LNG imports. This should fuel further investment in the US energy sector in the interim.

Aneeka Gupta, Director, Macroeconomic Research, WisdomTree

Continue Reading

Analys

Agricultural commodities could offer a hedge against inflation

Published

on

WisdomTree
WidsomTree

Agricultural commodity prices have been buoyed higher by rising grain and oilseed prices. At a time, when global equities have sold off by nearly 13.88% amidst soaring inflation and tightening liquidity conditions, agricultural commodities are up 26.8%. There are a plethora of supply side issues emanating from the war that are likely to continue to drive prices higher – the rise of protectionism, higher fertiliser costs, changing biofuel mandates and adverse weather conditions to name a few. The Russia-Ukraine war has had ripple effects from disrupting supply chains to raising fertiliser costs.

Rising protectionism buoys agricultural commodities higher

The war-related disruptions have also given rise to protectionism. To cite a few examples in 2022– India, the world’s third largest wheat producer, announced it would restrict wheat exports to manage domestic supplies of the grain, which led to a sharp rise in wheat prices. Indonesia also announced an export ban on palm oil on April 28, but the ban was lifted on May 19 after hundreds of farmers rallied to protest the move. In a tight oil-seeds markets, the initial announcement led soybean oil, an alternative to palm oil, sharply higher.

Source: WisdomTree as of 7 June 2022

Higher biofuel blending mandates to bolster demand for corn and soybean oil

Changes in the biofuel blending mandates are also poised to increase demand for agricultural commodities. The US is home to the world’s largest biofuel market. The Biden administration is ordering refiners to boost the use of biofuels such as corn-based ethanol. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requiring refiners to mix 20.63 billion gallons of renewable fuels into gasoline and diesel this year, marking a 9.5% increase over last year’s target. This will put pressure on refiners to blend more biofuel into their gasoline production this year, resulting in a net positive impact on the biofuels industry. Grains such as corn stand to benefit owing to their high starch content and relatively easy conversion to ethanol. Amidst waning stockpiles of diesel, Brazil is also considering increasing the biodiesel blend to 15% from 10% (i.e. the amount of soybean oil blended into trucking fuel). This has the potential to bolster demand for soybeans at a time when soybeans are already in short supply due to droughts in South America and US plantings trail last year’s pace.

Rising fertiliser costs are weakening demand, in turn lowering yields

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has caused disruptions in fertiliser production and material price increases, which has put farmer margins and agricultural yields at risk elsewhere, driving the prices of most agricultural commodities higher. Russia and Ukraine account for a significant share of the global fertiliser trade. Russia produces 9% of global nitrogen fertiliser, 10% of global phosphate fertiliser, and 20% of global potash fertiliser. It exports more than two thirds of its production of each product. Belarus produces an additional 17% of global potash and exports most of it.

Owing to its high soil quality, Argentina tends to use less fertilisers, but Brazil (the world’s largest importer of fertilisers) of which 85% of its needs are imported, is likely to feel the impact more. Russia alone accounts for 25% of Brazil’s total fertiliser imports. Farmers can also plant more soybeans, which require less fertilisers than corn. The US and global corn balance are set to continue to tighten, which suggests that the current high price environment is set to linger. The high prices and low availability of fertilisers is making farmers reduce usage and is also resulting in lower fertiliser prices similar to the trend witnessed back in 2008.

Ammonia prices
Source: Bloomberg, WisdomTree as of 27 May 2022.

Speculative positioning garnering momentum among agricultural commodities 

According to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), net speculative positioning in agricultural commodities has risen considerably since the covid pandemic. Tighter supply coupled with stockpiling by national governments concerned about food security has led to a rise in agricultural commodity prices. Not only has net speculative positioning on agricultural commodities risen versus its own history but also in comparison to other commodity subsectors, as illustrated in the chart below:

Speculative positions
Source: WisdomTree, CFTC, Bloomberg as of 25 May 2022.

Adverse weather conditions impact agricultural commodities

El Niño and La Niña are the warm and cool phases of a recurring climate pattern across the tropical Pacific—the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, or “ENSO” for short. The pattern shifts back and forth irregularly every two to seven years, and each phase triggers predictable disruptions of temperature, precipitation. The current La Niña has been around since October 2021. It has been responsible for the South American droughts, milder weather in Southern parts of US and heavy rainfalls across the Pacific Northwest. There is a 51% chance La Niña could continue into the December to February period, with those odds down from last month’s forecast of 58% according to the US climate prediction centre. The waters across the equatorial Pacific Ocean are expected to stay cool or be close to normal between June and September, which means the influence on weather patterns won’t be enough to disrupt tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic.  

Conclusion

Agricultural commodities have posted a strong performance in 2022. Yet there remain plenty of factors that could drive the performance of this commodity subsector even higher. Agricultural commodities are unique owing to their high dependence on weather conditions that make them volatile but also offer diversification benefits.

Aneeka Gupta, Director, Macroeconomic Research, WisdomTree

Continue Reading

Populära