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Commodities Week in Review: August 24 to August 28

August 29, 2020 at 2:21 by Andrew Moran

Agriculture 

Agricultural commodities continue to pare their 2020 losses amid the economic recovery, improving fundamentals, and a weaker US dollar. With the greenback cratering 13% since hitting a peak of 103.00 earlier this year, many importers are taking advantage of crops. A lower buck is good for dollar-denominated commodities because it makes it cheaper for foreign investors to purchase. Analysts still agree that agriculture would be one of the hot asset classes over the next 12 months after years of being in a bear market. 

Cocoa 

  • Friday Settlement: +$5.00, or 0.19%, $2,628 per metric ton 
  • Weekly Performance: +8.77% 
  • YTD Performance: +6.48% 

Coffee

  • Friday Settlement: +$0.005, or 0.04%, to $1.264 per pound
  • Weekly Performance: +5.64%
  • YTD Performance: +-2.13%

Corn 

  • Friday Settlement: $0.015, or 0.42%, to $3.60 per ton 
  • Weekly Performance: +5.57% 
  • YTD Performance: -7.04% 

Orange Juice 

  • Friday Settlement: $-0.0085, or 0.72%, to $1.171 per pound 
  • Weekly Performance: +1.74% 
  • YTD Performance: +17.45% 

Rice 

  • Friday Settlement: $-0.27, or 2.15%, to $12.28 per pound 
  • Weekly Performance: -0.69% 
  • YTD Performance: +2.21% 

Soybeans 

  • Friday Settlement: +$0.10, or 1.06%, to $9.52 per bushel 
  • Weekly Performance: +5.34% 
  • YTD Performance: -0.42% 

Sugar 

  • Friday Settlement: -0.14 cents, or 1.10%, to 12.63 cents per pound 
  • Weekly Performance: -1.41% 
  • YTD Performance: -6.03% 

Wheat 

  • Friday Settlement: -$0.0225, or 0.41%, to $5.485 a bushel 
  • Weekly Performance: +2.62% 
  • YTD Performance: -1.97% 

Bitcoin 

The peer-to-peer decentralized digital currency bitcoin failed to top $12,000 again this week as it suffered a weekly decline. As the broader financial markets gain confidence in the economic rebound, investors are shifting away from the cryptocurrency, and the data show that institutional investors are increasing their short positions in bitcoin. However, the data also show that retail traders are bullish on bitcoin, so the dichotomy might balance each other out and allow bitcoin to move on the fundamentals. 

  • Friday Settlement: +$180.00, or 1.6%, to $11,450 per coin 
  • Weekly Performance: -1.34% 
  • YTD Performance: +58.59% 

Energy 

It was a busy week for the energy sector as Hurricane Laura slammed into the Gulf of Mexico, the US dollar weakened, the US government is allowing drilling in the Arctic, and drilling activity appears to be returning. But while crude oil recorded modest gains, natural gas continued its weekly hot streak by surging nearly 9%. Natural gas has had a pattern in August where it has one huge rally in a given week, which gives it a larger-than-average weekly increase. 

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Crude Oil 

  • Friday Settlement: -$0.11, or 0.26%, to $42.93 per barrel 
  • Weekly Performance: +1.61% 
  • YTD Performance: -29.86% 

Brent Crude Oil 

  • Friday Settlement: +$0.13, or 0.28%, to $45.94 per barrel 
  • Weekly Performance: +3.80% 
  • YTD Performance: -30.43% 

Natural Gas 

  • Friday Settlement: -$0.056, or 2.07%, to $2.654 per million British thermal units (btu) 
  • Weekly Performance: +8.73% 
  • YTD Performance: +21.58% 

Gasoline 

  • Friday Settlement: +$0.0285, 2.34%, to $1.2467 per gallon 
  • Weekly Performance: -2.22% 
  • YTD Performance: -26.55% 

Heating Oil 

  • Friday Settlement: +$0.0107, or 0.87%, to $1.24 per gallon 
  • Weekly Performance: +1.09% 
  • YTD Performance: -38.80% 

Metals 

The metals market had another raucous trading week, with volatility triggered by the Federal Reserve’s new inflation approach. Although other factors were at play for gold and silver prices, the US central bank essentially guaranteeing inflation and low interest rates prompted traders to build their positions in precious metals to close out the trading week. 

Gold 

  • Friday Settlement: +$40.00, or 2.07%, to $1,972.60 per ounce 
  • Weekly Performance: +1.29% 
  • YTD Performance: +29.78% 

Silver 

  • Friday Settlement: +$0.58, or 2.15%, to $27.605 per ounce 
  • Weekly Performance: +2.68% 
  • YTD Performance: +54.22% 

Copper 

  • Friday Settlement: +$0.0395, or 1.32%, to $3.03 per pound 
  • Weekly Performance: +3.54% 
  • YTD Performance: +8.27% 

Palladium 

  • Friday Settlement: +$64.50, or 2.99%, to $2,223.70 per ounce 
  • Weekly Performance: +2.06% 
  • YTD Performance: +16.28% 

Platinum 

  • Friday Settlement: +$12.60, or 1.36%, to $940.70 per ounce 
  • Weekly Performance: +1.54% 
  • YTD Performance: -3.20% 

If you have any questions and comments on commodities today, use the form below to reply. 

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