Shale gas buried underground is estimated to increase recoverable gas in the world by 50%. Shale oil would allow oil reserves to expand by 10%. The US Energy Information Administration changed its estimates after a new study where it took into account twice as many oil and gas fields than in 2011.
Inventories of all wheat varieties as of June 1, 2014, will total 659 million bushels, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report. That’s more than the 655 million projected by analysts in a Bloomberg survey and less than the 670 million the government forecast in May. U.S. output will drop this year to 2.08 billion bushels, compared with last month’s prediction of 2.057 billion.
Wheat traded in Chicago, a global benchmark, fell about 10 percent this year on the outlook for rising production. The projected rebound follows drought in 2013 that hurt harvests in Russia, Ukraine, southern Europe and the U.S.
The recent fortunes made by investors in rare earth metals and gold are just two shining examples of what an extremely profitable investment class commodities can be. From aluminum and platinum to zinc and silver, oil and gas to cocoa and wheat, this Guide to Commodities from the Economist Intelligence Unit is a comprehensive overview of the forces at work in the world of commodities.
The price volatility of so many commodities over the past decade has underlined their economic importance and how dependent we are on them: the price of gold has soared to new peaks (before tumbling in the last few weeks) as currencies have endured a crisis of confidence, demand from China has pushed metal prices up, instability in the Middle East and North Africa has had its effect on the oil price and food prices have been increasing in parallel with worries about whether there is enough to feed the world. Read the rest of Guide to Commodities 2013 » » »
Gold futures for June delivery dropped 0.3 percent to $1,432.60 an ounce at 10:46 a.m. on the Comex in New York. The price headed for the third straight decline, the longest slump since April 4. Through May 10, the metal dropped 14 percent this year.
Leading wealth managers have been switching out of commodities since the start of the year in favour of equities and bonds as they look for yield, a trend which accelerated in April with a major sell-off across the commodities field, led by a collapse in the gold price.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s Crop Progress report, published last week, showed conditions deteriorated in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas following freezing temperatures in April.
Winter extended unusually in the United States, there were more than 30 cm of snow in western Iowa, a major grain states in the country. When there is no snow, it’s rain preventing farmers from sowing. Having sowed only 5% of corn in may had not happened in the United States for nearly thirty years.
“We’ve been concerned by some extraordinarily cold morning temperatures,” said Todd Hultman, a grains analyst at DTN. “The USDA report just added confirmation that people are expecting damage from those conditions.”
Steel prices have slumped this month, setting off a scramble among steelmakers to maintain prices and market share despite a nationwide glut.
In a bid to maintain market share in the lukewarm economy, steel mills have been increasingly offering 5% to 8% discounts on index-linked contracts since the financial crisis. “Everybody’s been undercutting in the market because there’s way too much steel,” says Charles Bradford, an analyst with Bradford Research Inc. They’re also offering price rebates and waiving some extra fees on higher-grade products, according to buyers and traders.
Industrial metals prices trading on the London Metal Exchange were shaken this week by an unexpected slowdown in Chinese growth, followed by gloomy indicators in the United States, which cast doubt on global growth strength.
Japan, the world’s biggest importer of LNG, pays about $18 per British thermal units, versus$10 in Europe and $3~4 in the U.S. It is tired of paying such a price for a resource that has become so important. So Japan is preparing to launch the first LNG futures market.
The low price in the U.S. is due to the shale gas boom in the country and to the fact that the gas does not need to be liquefied. In Europe, there are spot markets for LNG which constantly take into account the state of supply and demand.
Without realizing it, U.S. drivers are competing for American-made gasoline with consumers in Latin America and Asia, where demand is rising. “Americans don’t think about their prices being impacted by a global market,” says Morse. “The American public just thinks about the rising price at the pump.”
For the first time since 1995, the U.S. will likely produce more oil than it imports. That’s great for the country’s trade balance, but the benefits of all that cheap domestic crude still haven’t shown up at the one place it matters most: the gas station.