Economy

Decline in commodity markets continue

Wheat sees 4-month low, while corn and soybean at lowest level for last 5 months

Burhan Sansarlioglu   | 04.07.2022
Decline in commodity markets continue

ISTANBUL

The downward trend in commodity markets continued last week due to tight monetary policies of the central banks and recession concerns.

While global macroeconomic figures during the week pointed to a slowdown in economic activity, the guidance of key central bank officials for signaling the continuation of aggressive monetary policies also negatively affected the risk appetite of investors.

Global recession concerns also supported the demand for US dollars; the dollar index closed at 105.1 last week, the highest weekly close since December 2002.

The ounce price of gold, which saw its lowest level since January 2022 with 1,784 dollars, carried its decline for the third week in a row.

Last week, silver fell 6% and platinum fell 2.2%, the lowest level since July 2020, while palladium rose 4.5%.

Palladium prices soared on the news that the South African metal firm, Sibanye-Stillwater, would close its South African mines and expectation that Russia might limit palladium supply.

Copper, which saw its lowest level since February 2021, ended the week with a decrease of 4.3%.

Lead lost 1.3%, aluminum 0.8%, nickel 1.5% and zinc 12.5%.

Copper is depreciating after growing concerns about the global economic slowdown.

While investors avoided zinc due to the limited supply, nickel prices increased with the decrease in stocks.

Energy prices

Last week, a fluctuating course was observed in energy commodities.

Brent oil gained 1.9%, while natural gas traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 7.9%.

Oil prices soared as the G7's new sanction signals on Russian oil sparked concerns over supply shortages in global markets.

The cessation of oil shipments from the two main ports in Libya and the drop in production due to ongoing protests in Ecuador also supported supply concerns in oil.

Natural gas prices fell amid concerns that there would be an oversupply after the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that there is a larger-than-expected storage construction.

Grains

Last week, wheat traded at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange saw a four-month low, while corn and soybean were at the lowest level for the last five months.

Wheat ended the week with a decrease of 10.2%, corn by 9.9%, and soybean by 2.2%, while rice increased by 0.4%.

Wheat prices fell easing with news that Russia is withdrawing its troops from Ukraine's Snake Island to open a grain shipment corridor.

Corn prices also decreased with the weakening of the drought forecasts in the US.

Cotton saw its lowest level for nine months, sugar for three months, and cocoa for a year.

Last week, cotton decreased by 0.8%, sugar by 1.4%, and cocoa by 5.7%, while coffee finished the week with an increase of 0.3%.

Zafer Ergezen, a commodity markets expert, said that interest rate hikes pushed up the dollar index, and caused selling pressure in all commodity markets.

Rapidly progressing wheat harvest in the US and Europe continues to be effective on wheat prices, he said.

Mentioning the rise in coffee, Ergezen stated that the coffee harvest in Brazil, the world's largest producer, is below average.

In addition, there are harvest concerns due to problems in the labor market, so coffee is more attractive than other commodities, he added.

*Writing by Gokhan Ergocun

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