NEW YORK, Sept. 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Commodities decreased in August as output forecasts for several agricultural commodities increased. Dampened global growth prospects, due to emerging markets weakness, lowered demand expectations for base metals.
The Bloomberg Commodity Index Total Return performance was lower for the month, with 15 out of 22 Index constituents posting losses.
Credit Suisse Asset Management observed the following:
- Agriculture declined 5.97% for the month. Soybean Meal fell after the USDA raised its US soybean production estimates for the 2018/2019 growing season, increasing soybean crushing expectations.
- Industrial Metals decreased 4.35%, led lower by Nickel, amid weakening global growth prospects as concerns rose that deteriorating economic conditions in Argentina and Turkey may cause financial contagion in Emerging Market nations and Europe.
- Precious Metals fell 3.13% as the US Dollar strengthened on the back of continued positive US economic news despite growing geopolitical tensions.
- Livestock was 0.34% lower, led down by Lean Hogs, after the US government signaled that it may apply levies on an additional $200 billion worth of imported Chinese goods. Retaliation from China may dampen export demand expectations for US pork.
- Energy increased 3.77%, led higher by ULS Diesel, after the US EIA reported seasonally-strong US oil refinery utilization amid strong demand for refined products.
Nelson Louie, Global Head of Commodities for Credit Suisse Asset Management, said: "The preliminary trade deal between the US and Mexico may improve the future competitiveness of US pork, beef and other agricultural products. US trade relations with China, however, moved in the opposite direction after the US government announced plans to apply tariffs on additional goods despite a restart of negotiations between the two nations. This may encourage retaliatory actions from China, adding more inflationary pressure to impacted goods for end consumers. Meanwhile, in Iran, soon-to-be reenacted sanctions by the US, may severely cut Iran's future oil export potential. The potential of losing up to 1.5 million barrels of crude oil per day may nullify the recent OPEC production increases, further tightening the global crude oil supply/demand balance."
Christopher Burton, Senior Portfolio Manager for the Credit Suisse Total Commodity Return Strategy, added: "Within the US, inflation is on the rise. Despite the upsurge in global geopolitical tensions, the US economy continued to show strength with unemployment dropping down to 3.9% in July, reducing wage slack in the workforce, while July's headline CPI reading showed a year-over-year growth of 2.9%. To reduce the risk of core inflation overshooting the US Federal Reserve's 2% annual target on a sustained basis, the Fed announced during its annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming that it intends to raise interest rates two more times this year, with the next rate hike expected in September. The prospects of rising interest rates in the US and heightened risks of contagion from declining emerging economies have strengthened the US Dollar and dampened expectations for commodities thus far in 2018. However, if trade tensions ease, this could be supportive for global growth and commodities demand. In addition, labor market conditions may continue to tighten, leading to further increases in inflation. This may necessitate more aggressive actions from the Fed than is currently anticipated. However, the commodities asset class has historically outperformed other investment groups in periods of higher-than-expected inflation."
About the Credit Suisse Total Commodity Return Strategy
Credit Suisse's Total Commodity Return Strategy is managed by a team with over 32 years of experience, and seeks to outperform the return of a commodities index, such as the Bloomberg Commodity Index Total Return or the S&P GSCI Total Return Index, using both a quantitative and qualitative commodity research process. Commodity index total returns are achieved through:
- Spot Return: price return on specified commodity futures contracts;
- Roll Yield: impact due to migration of futures positions from near to far contracts; and
- Collateral Yield: return earned on collateral for the futures.
As of August 31, 2018, the Team managed approximately USD 9.1 billion in assets globally.
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Credit Suisse AG
Credit Suisse AG is one of the world's leading financial services providers and is part of the Credit Suisse group of companies (referred to here as 'Credit Suisse'). Our strategy builds on Credit Suisse's core strengths: its position as a leading wealth manager, its specialist investment banking capabilities and its strong presence in our home market of Switzerland. We seek to follow a balanced approach to wealth management, aiming to capitalize on both the large pool of wealth within mature markets as well as the significant growth in wealth in Asia Pacific and other emerging markets, while also serving key developed markets with an emphasis on Switzerland. Credit Suisse employs approximately 45'430 people. The registered shares (CSGN) of Credit Suisse AG's parent company, Credit Suisse Group AG, are listed in Switzerland and, in the form of American Depositary Shares (CS), in New York. Further information about Credit Suisse can be found at www.credit-suisse.com.
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Certain risks relating to investing in Commodities and Commodity-Linked Investments: Exposure to commodity markets should only form a small part of a diversified portfolio. Investment in commodity markets may not be suitable for all investors. Commodity investments will be affected by changes in overall market movements, commodity volatility, exchange-rate movements, changes in interest rates, and factors affecting a particular industry or commodity, such as drought, floods, weather, livestock disease, embargoes, tariffs and international economic, political and regulatory developments. Commodity markets are highly volatile. The risk of loss in commodities and commodity-linked investments can be substantial. There is generally a high degree of leverage in commodity investing that can significantly magnify losses. Gains or losses from speculative derivative positions may be much greater than the derivative's original cost. An investment in commodities is not a complete investment program and should represent only a portion of an investor's portfolio management strategy.
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