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Russia weaponisation of natural gas poses economic risks

Russia’s decision to suspend gas deliveries to Poland and Bulgaria from today because of a payments dispute will only strengthen the EU’s resolve to end its dependency on Russian gas, keeping gas prices historically high for months to come. The move also raises the risk of gas shortages in Poland and Bulgaria, especially Bulgaria which is relatively less well prepared. Euro-zone stagflation risks have risen, too. In view of the wider interest, we are also sending this Commodities Update to clients of our Energy, European Economics and Emerging Europe Economics Services .
Edward Gardner Commodities Economist
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Commodities Weekly Wrap

Pressure from rising Treasury yields likely to resume

This week the prices of most commodities got a boost as investors pared back expectations for rate hikes in the US, following lower than expected inflation data. That said, we still expect a further small rise in the US 10-year Treasury yield by the end of the year, which could put renewed downward pressure on the prices of commodities, and particularly gold, in the coming months. Supply disruption caused by the war in Ukraine seems to be easing, as grain ships have continued to leave Ukrainian ports. Meanwhile, there were renewed efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. While there are still hurdles, if a deal were agreed, we would expect a rapid rise in Iranian oil output, which would weigh on oil prices. Next week, we’ll be paying close attention to the latest activity and spending data from China on Monday. We expect that the data will show that the post-lockdown recovery lost steam in July, alongside a renewed deterioration in the property sector, which could weigh on industrial metals prices next week.

12 August 2022

Commodities Update

Gloomy outlook for use of agriculturals in industry

Deteriorating global economic growth over the coming quarters will weigh on industrial demand for cotton, natural rubber and lumber. That said, high oil prices will offer some support to cotton and natural rubber prices, and our expectation for rate cuts in the US in late 2023 could boost the price of US lumber.

10 August 2022

Commodities Update

China’s copper imports are the only bright spot

Commodity import volumes remained lacklustre in July, consistent with subdued activity in heavy industry and construction. We think import growth should tick up in the coming months in response to higher infrastructure spending and a modest pick-up in activity. But renewed lockdowns pose a downside risk. Oil and the Gulf Drop-In (9th Aug): What’s the outlook for oil prices and what does that mean for Gulf economic outperformance? Join economists from our Commodities and Emerging Markets teams for this 20-minute briefing. Register now.

8 August 2022

More from Edward Gardner

Energy Data Response

US Weekly Petroleum Status Report

Commercial crude oil stocks fell last week on the back of a rise in exports and a decrease in imports. Going forward, though, the US government’s plan to further draw down its strategic oil reserves, in addition to improving production, should lead to a recovery in commercial stocks in the coming months. French election Drop-In (21st April, 09:00 BST/16:00 SGT): Join our Europe and Markets economists the morning after the crucial Macron vs Le Pen debate for a briefing about risks around the presidential election, including to the French economy, the European Union and the euro. Register now.

20 April 2022

Energy Data Response

US Weekly Petroleum Status Report

Commercial crude stocks rose last week, beating market expectations of a decline, due to rising domestic production and another sale from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. If sustained, higher production could combine with continued SPR releases to further boost commercial stocks in the weeks ahead.

6 April 2022

Commodities Update

High volatility to persist while war rages on

Commodity prices are as volatile as they’ve ever been. We don’t think volatility will ease until the war in Ukraine ends, because only then will we know the true extent of the Russia-related supply shock.

31 March 2022
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