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Commodities Week in Review: August 3 to August 7

August 8, 2020 at 2:32 by Andrew Moran

Agriculture 

Agricultural commodities had a rough week, driven primarily by a strengthening US dollar and escalating geopolitical tensions. Ample supplies, better-than-expected US government ratings, and coronavirus uncertainty also weighed on agriculture. But if the greenback continues its downward descent, could crops perform better over the next few months? 

Coffee 

  • Friday Settlement: -$0.006, or 0.52%, to $1.1485 per pound 
  • Weekly Performance: -3.16% 
  • YTD Performance: -11.07% 

Corn 

  • Friday Settlement: -$0.035, or 1.12%, to $3.0775 
  • Weekly Performance: -2.3% 
  • YTD Performance: -20.53% 

Orange Juice 

  • Friday Settlement: +$0.007, or 0.61%, to $1.1505 per pound 
  • Weekly Performance: -5.00% 
  • YTD Performance: +15.4% 

Rice 

  • Friday Settlement: +$0.0075, or 0.65%, to $11.61 per pound 
  • Weekly Performance: -0.47% 
  • YTD Performance: -3.37% 

Soybeans 

  • Friday Settlement: -$0.0875, or 1.00%, to $8.6925 per bushel 
  • Weekly Performance: -2.61% 
  • YTD Performance: -9.07% 

Sugar 

  • Friday Settlement: -0.31 cents, or 2.4%, to 12.63 cents per pound 
  • Weekly Performance: Unchanged 
  • YTD Performance: -6.03% 

Wheat 

  • Friday Settlement: -$0.0525, or 1.05%, to $4.96 per bushel 
  • Weekly Performance: -6.55% 
  • YTD Performance: -11.35% 

Bitcoin 

Although bitcoin has enjoyed a monumental surge this year throughout the financial crisis and COVID-19 pandemic, the peer-to-peer decentralized digital currency could not sustain the momentum to close out the trading week as it failed to settle above $12,000. But bitcoin, which is now considered a safe-haven asset, joined the broader market decline. A rising US dollar also impacted the cryptocurrency. 

  • Friday Settlement: -$395.00, or 3.28%, to $11,645.00 per coin 
  • Weekly Performance: -4.02% 
  • YTD Performance: +61.29% 

Energy 

The energy sector had a fantastic week on a variety of factors, including growing confidence in the global economic rebound and improving fundamentals. While all eyes are on crude oil, natural gas was the real winner this week. The so-called bridge fuel soared more than 24%, enjoying most of the gains earlier in the week on weather forecasts calling for rising temperatures in most of the US. Could natural gas prices maintain the momentum? Or is the heatwave already priced in for the rest of August? 

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Crude Oil 

  • Friday Settlement: -$0.35, or 0.83%, to $41.60 per barrel 
  • Weekly Performance: +2.89% 
  • YTD Performance: -32.04% 

Brent Crude Oil 

  • Friday Settlement: +$0.29, or 0.65%, to $44.69 per barrel 
  • Weekly Performance: +2.24% 
  • YTD Performance: -32.32% 

Natural Gas 

  • Friday Settlement: +$0.09, or 4.16%, to $2.255 per million British thermal units (btu) 
  • Weekly Performance: +24.17% 
  • YTD Performance: +3.30% 

Gasoline 

  • Friday Settlement: -$0.0146, or 1.19%, to $1.2135 per gallon 
  • Weekly Performance: +3.02% 
  • YTD Performance: -28.50% 

Heating Oil 

  • Friday Settlement: $0.0254, or 2.03%, to $1.2245 per gallon 
  • Weekly Performance: -0.46% 
  • YTD Performance: -39.56% 

Metals 

The precious metals had a historic week, while the industrial metals were mixed. Gold recorded multiple record highs, while silver is on its way to test $30 an ounce. Investors have been pouring into gold and silver over inflation fears, with the Congress on the verge of approving another trillion-dollar stimulus package. Although copper slumped this week, palladium and platinum prices continued their upward trajectory. 

Gold 

  • Friday Settlement: -$23.30, or 1.13%, to $2,046.10 per ounce 
  • Weekly Performance: +2.61% 
  • YTD Performance: +34.61% 

Silver 

  • Friday Settlement: -$0.015, or 0.05%, to $28.385 per ounce 
  • Weekly Performance: +15.25% 
  • YTD Performance: +58.58% 

Copper 

  • Friday Settlement: -$0.12, or 4.12%, to $2.7905 per pound 
  • Weekly Performance: -2.41% 
  • YTD Performance: +0.29% 

Palladium 

  • Friday Settlement: -$61.50, or 2.72%, to $2,197.90 per ounce 
  • Weekly Performance: +3.04% 
  • YTD Performance: +14.93% 

Platinum 

  • Friday Settlement: -$31.90, or 3.15%, to $982.00 
  • Weekly Performance: +6.77% 
  • YTD Performance: +1.05% 

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