Agricultural commodities rally


The ‘No’ campaign in the Greece’s referendum received more than 60% of votes, emboldening the Greek government’s stance to reject its creditors terms. Gold has surprisingly not reacted to the events but that could change as worst-case scenarios crystalize

Inflows into long oil ETPs highest in 14 weeks, as investors return to bargain hunting. A rise in rig counts in the US, the first since December 2014, drove WTI crude oil prices down 4.8%. Brent fell by 1.8%. As we have long argued, the rally in oil prices since March has been premature and has the potential to delay the supply cuts the industry needs. The increase in oil rigs is a confirmation that that incentive to cut production has waned. The necessary price decline should see that production is indeed pared back over the coming months. The potential lifting of sanctions against Iran should also weigh on oil prices in the near term. While a July 1st nuclear deal deadline passed with no agreement, a new deadline of 7th July has been set and talks are continuing. We expect high cost conventional oil producers to suffer the greatest loss in market share when prices fall, setting the scene for the nimble US shale oil industry to rebuild in due course. ETF securities long oil ETPs received US$49.3mn of inflows last week.

Profit-taking led to US$36.0mn outflows from long wheat ETPs. Wheat rallied close to 18% in 4 days, before paring gains to 10.1% for the week. A USDA report confirmed that wheat acreage planted this year will be lower than last year. The market took this very positively, although gains were pared once it was acknowledged that planting intentions (survey of farmers in March) had actually called for deeper cuts to growing. The profit-taking led to the largest weekly outflows in wheat ETPs since their inception in 2006. We believe that the strengthening El Niño weather pattern threatens to reduce global wheat production this year and opens further opportunities for investors to go long. El Niño tends to make the Asian sub-continent around India and Australia more dry than usual, which would crimp supplies from the large producing countries. Although the monsoon in India had gotten off to a brisk start in June, last week rain had slowed to below normal levels, the typical hallmark of the El Niño suppressing the monsoon.

Long nickel ETPs see largest inflows since November 2014 on the back of bargain hunting. Nickel fell 3.9% last week to a six-year low, mainly driven by technicals after the nickel breached the $12,000 psychological threshold. We believe that fundamentals will reassert. Declining nickel pig iron production in China, stronger demand from the European stainless steel market and reduced nickel ore availability will be key catalysts. Long nickel ETPs saw US$8.8mn inflows.

Key events to watch this week. Investors will continue to be distracted by theevents unfolding in Greece after the ‘No’ vote in the referendum yesterday. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology will provide an El Niño update tomorrow.

Nitesh Shah – Associate Director – Research – ETF Securities (UK)