The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials jumped 20 percent last year, led by cotton, silver and arabica coffee. The gauge is up 14 percent this year, with cotton, oil and silver climbing the most. Food prices rose to a record last month, according to the United Nations.
Twenty-eight percent of more than 100 investors polled this month said oil will gain the most this year, followed by corn and wheat, Barclays Capital said. Gold, which rose 30 percent last year, may be “losing its shine” and was ranked the worst performer for 2011 after natural gas, the bank said.
“There is a strong case now for taking money out of gold,” Kevin Norrish, a managing director at Barclays, said in London yesterday. “The real risks are more bad weather and higher food prices. The real risks are further geopolitical issues and higher oil prices. That’s why crude oil and grains are on top of the list.”