Commodities Landscape Remains Uncertain

Some commodities markets have now come full cycle in a year, with gains erased or approaching wipeout in many. Soybean, wheat and corn futures have crashed, with nickel, sugar and lumber faltering too.

However, still riding the crest of the wave are crude oil and tin, but is the tide due in on these too before long?

Commodities markets are complex right now with economies reopening then contracting, exploding then dipping, in equal measure.

Hopes of a soaring global economy, riding on the wave of optimism afforded by vaccine rollouts are being reigned in.

Chaotic Commodities Markets At A Glance

Supply worries have sated appetite for soybean trading while gold and silver markets have wobbled with uncertainties over monetary policy.

Strong signals for interest rate rises and China’s efforts to curb inflation while releasing metals from state reserves to cool price rises have reset the landscape for copper, gold, silver, platinum and nickel.

Yet there’s no lid being forced onto tin prices as yet with demand rising against stagnant supply. Tin is essential to the low-carbon economy.

Without it, nothing in the electronics industry is soldered and batteries can’t be charged.


Crude oil still leads the charge if you look at weekly and monthly charts, but daily drop trends have hinted at volatility.

Recent OPEC agreements suggest more production over the coming months, against the backdrop of expected rise in demand.

With global commodities tailing off in recent weeks then, the evidence mounts that economies will take more time than previously thought to shrug off the scourge of the pandemic.

What it means for investors – as if to state the obvious – is that markets need to be looked at on a case-by-case basis, as well as a day-to-day basis if truth be told.