HomeResearch and NewsAC-Tradeable Commodity Snapshot 010419

AC-Tradeable Commodity Snapshot 010419


Fed dovish pivot, Brexit delay and trade deal hopes are now in the back mirror. Risk-on conditions are still valid and overall Greed index at 18 months high. But commodities clearly lost momentum. Oil, Gasoline (disruption risk in OPEC) and Platinum (switch from Palladium) were among the leaders, but agri commodities kept on falling to the new lows and were followed by Natural Gas (spring heat) and most Metals (strong dollar, retraced yields)

Macroeconomic drivers were better China stimulus finds its way into the higher credit growth and better PMI, US macro stabilizes after winter drop on Govt Shutdown but with Europe in mild recession. Other EM either in stagnation or in outright crisis mode (Turkey, S.Africa, Argentina, Venezuela). We still doubt that Fed to be as dovish as market believe and there will be a tough road ahead with strong USD and reduced dollar liquidity as QT program is keep on going to at least September. Huge US fiscal deficit doesn’t help dollar availability as well

Chinese economy rebounds at least temporarily but it will not return to 6.5-7% growth as Govt wouldn’t allow for new bubbles to inflate (equities and housing are flashing red flags with too much credit created). Structural rebalancing is underway and commodity intensity of its economy is going to be further reduced

Investors’ interest in commodities is not growing further after the 1Q19 rebound. Commodity futures open interest is at 5 years low and volume traded -20% from the last year peak. But there is no excess in any sector except in palladium (there was short squeeze in physical market) and gasoline (hedge funds positioning)

Weather conditions are moving toward moderate El Nino that is negative for prices of most grains and natural gas, but a little bit positive for cocoa and coffee. Political risks are for upside in copper and precious metals (Africa) and negative for agriculture commodities (Turkey, Argentina – demand reduction, Brazil – supply growth with BRL depreciation)
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Commodity market Report - February 2020

Trade war is officially over but Chinese risks resurfaced from the other side - extreme quarantine measures after coronavirus outbreak in Jan-Feb resulted in significant breakdown in the industrial production chains and construction activity. However monetary and fiscal stimuli quickly reversed negative sentiment and overall risk conditions returned to the high Greed mode with only commodities market kept in risk-off mode. Energy complex was very volatile as its initial sharp drop was lately compensated by OPEC verbal interventions and renewed risk in Libya and Venezuela. Industrial metals fell sharply, but Precious shined brightly with unbelievable bubble in Palladium. Agri commodities were mostly range bound with Cocoa being top performer

Macroeconomic drivers turn to negative as positive developments after the Trade Deal signature and record financial markets levels gave the way to fears of world economic slowdown after the virus outbreak. On the other hand there were not many voices for recession as stimulative monetary policy should provide the cushion. However we think that markets overstated willingness of the Fed to keep on printing and the main risk once again turned to the hawkish surprise when it exits REPO stimulus gambit and the ECB to end QE.