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Timberrrrrrrr...

Although we remain optimistic about the near-term demand outlook, we think that the price of US lumber will fall further in the coming months as domestic supply continues to revive.
Samuel Burman Assistant Commodities Economist
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Commodities Update

The outlook for staple agricultural commodities

We think the prices of agricultural commodities will fall back in the coming months, but most will remain historically high owing to tight supply, concerns about future supply and high energy prices.

24 June 2022

Commodities Weekly Wrap

Non-energy prices only have so much more to fall

Most commodity prices fell this week as demand concerns picked up due to ongoing monetary policy tightening by major central banks. Speaking to the US Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell underlined his “strong commitment” to bringing current multi-decade high inflation back to target. A notable exception to this trend, however, was a rise in natural gas prices in Europe and Asia owing to fears that Russia could potentially further cut gas supply to Europe. If demand concerns intensify, further falls in commodity prices could be in store. However, we don’t think there is a great deal of room for prices to fall in the near term for a couple of reasons. First, energy prices will remain historically high due to supply constraints, putting a floor under other commodity prices. Second, stocks of many commodities, particularly industrial metals, are low, which will further underpin prices. And finally, China’s economy should recover somewhat in the second half of this year. Looking ahead, G7 leaders begin a three-day meeting on Sunday, during which they will discuss sanctions against Russia and how to support the long-term reconstruction of Ukraine. Any new sanctions coming out of that meeting could affect commodity prices. Data-wise, the EIA should get back to releasing weekly oil inventory data next Wednesday, after missing this week’s release due to technical reasons.

24 June 2022

Commodities Weekly Wrap

Supply concerns to dominate in gas markets

European natural gas prices surged this week on renewed supply concerns, as Russia once again cut gas supplies to Europe and the US Freeport LNG export facility closed for six months. The huge price move emphasises how volatile natural gas prices can be, particularly in the current environment when global supplies are tight. High volatility is likely to persist as news on gas flows develops but we’re forecasting the European natural gas price to remain high, ending the year at €120 per MWh. Meanwhile, the financial market backdrop has become less favourable for commodity prices. Global monetary tightening and concerns about global growth have hit risky assets like equities and non-energy commodities this week. Genuine supply concerns are keeping prices of certain commodities elevated, but there is the potential for large price falls if some of these fears ease or prove unfounded. Next week, we don’t think there is much chance of a cut to China’s Loan Prime Rate, to be announced on Monday and the published agenda for the National People’s Congress Standing Committee doesn’t indicate that any extra financing for fiscal support will be discussed. Without significant stimulus, we think that soft demand from China will weigh on industrial metals prices this year.

17 June 2022

More from Samuel Burman

Energy Update

OPEC impasse: what next?

The failure of OPEC+ to agree to new production quotas has created considerable uncertainty about the group’s oil production going forward. In this Update, we lay out three possible scenarios for OPEC+ output in the coming months and what they would mean for oil prices.

6 July 2021

Energy Update

Rising production to take the sizzle out of Henry Hub

Strong industrial demand and constrained domestic supply will support US natural gas prices throughout the remainder of this year. However, we expect that the average price will fall in 2022 in large part because of higher production.

28 June 2021

Metals Data Response

Global Aluminium Production (May)

Average daily global aluminium production edged up in May as smelters continued to take advantage of high prevailing prices. We think that production will rise further in the near future.

21 June 2021
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