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3 commodity trends to watch this week

ASX 200 shares
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In a country like ours it pays to be aware of the underlying commodity trends. This is more true today than at any other time as the world awakes from the coronavirus pandemic to a world fraught with tension. I have found that if you pay attention, and understand the way things are moving there is always a chance to profit. 

Gold miners

The gold price is the king of all commodity trends. It remains at an all time high in Australian dollars. Recent falls have been more influenced by the exchange rate with the US dollar than giant swings in the gold price. The easy analysis is to say gold is a hedge against uncertainty. An asset that rises when equities fall. However, there is more to it than that. 

Record low interest rates, even negative interest rates, around the world have combined with immense levels of quantitative easing. This means more available cash. Where there is a high demand, like investment assets, we see inflationary pressures. 

Within this space there are still S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO) shares selling at reasonable prices. The Regis Resources Limited (ASX: RRL) share price fell by 5.5% last week for no discernible reason. The company has maintained a 9-year compound annual growth rate for sales at 22%. An 8-year earnings per share CAGR at 17.2% and a share price CAGR at 22.9%.

Battery Metals

Rumours this week that Tesla Inc (NYSE: TSLA) had developed a million mile battery caused a lot of speculation.  Including a claim from General Motors Company (NYSE: GMC) that they too had almost completed a million mile battery. This means a renewed upward commodity trend for future facing metals such as nickel, silver, and copper in particular. Companies like BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) and Sandfire Resources Ltd (ASX: SFR) are ASX 200 shares that may benefit from any rise in the copper price, with BHP also heavily involved in global nickel production.

South32 Ltd (ASX: S32) is a large scale player in the nickel industry. It is also a high volume producer of silver from the Cannington mine in Queensland. Both of these are used on battery manufacture as well as across the board in the renewables sector. 

Grain industry

The upward commodity trend in grain has continued despite the Chinese 80% tariffs. The share price of Australian producer Graincorp Ltd (ASX: GNC) has continued its upward momentum. GrainCorp is not very exposed to the tariffs imposed thus far.

Food security is quietly becoming a very important issue. Over the past three months we have seen the worst locust plagues for a generation across Africa, The Middle East and South Asia. Ukraine, the food bowl of Europe, is also expecting a markedly lower harvest in 20/21 after a record crop in 19/20. Moreover, the UN has raised the spectre of starvation at “biblical” levels.

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Daryl Mather has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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Daryl Mather