(Bloomberg) -- With agricultural prices soaring, metal prices hitting the highest in years and oil well above $50 a barrel, JPMorgan Chase & Co. is calling it: Commodities appear to have begun a new supercycle of years-long gains.A long-term boom across the commodities complex appears likely with Wall Street betting on a strong economic recovery from the pandemic and hedging against inflation, JPMorgan analysts led by Marko Kolanovic said in a report on Wednesday. Prices may also jump as an “unintended consequence” of the fight against climate change, which threatens to constrain oil supplies while boosting demand for metals needed to build renewable energy infrastructure, batteries and electric vehicles, the bank said.Everyone from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to Bank of America Corp. to Ospraie Management LLC are calling for a commodities bull market as government stimulus kicks in and vaccines are deployed around the world to fight the coronavirus. The optimism has already driven hedge funds’ bullish wagers on commodities to the highest in a decade, representing a dramatic turnaround from last year when oil fell below zero for the first time ever and farmers were dumping produce amid snarled supply chains and plummeting demand.“We believe that the new commodity upswing, and in particular oil up cycle, has started,” the JPMorgan analysts said in their note. “The tide on yields and inflation is turning.”Commodities have seen four supercycles over the past 100 years -- with the last one peaking in 2008 after 12 years of expansion.While that one was driven by the economic rise of China, JPMorgan attributed the latest cycle to several drivers including a post-pandemic recovery, “ultra-loose” monetary and fiscal policies, a weak U.S. dollar, stronger inflation and more aggressive environmental policies around the world.Hedge funds similarly haven’t been this bullish on commodities since the mid-2000s, when China was stockpiling everything from copper to cotton while crop failures and export bans around the world boosted food prices, eventually toppling governments during the Arab Spring. The backdrop is now starting to look similar, with a broad gauge of commodity prices hitting its highest in six years.Corn and soybean prices have soared as China loads up on American crops. Copper hit an eight-year high amid growing optimism over a broader economic recovery. And oil has staged a strong recovery from the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic as a worldwide supply glut eases.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
One of the world’s leading commodity traders, Louis-Dreyfus Company (LDC), has opened up to outside ownership for the first time in almost 170 years. The trader has sold a 45pc stake to ADQ, the Abu Dhabi state-owned holding company and also agreed a long-term supply agreement for the UAE. Owner Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, who also chairs LDC’s supervisory board, said the partnership marked a “milestone" in the firm's strategy. She has been seeking new investment after tightening her control in December 2018 when she bought out family members, borrowing about $1bn (£755m) from Credit Suisse to do so, pledged against her stake. Micheal Gelchie, LDC chief executive, said the firm and ADQ had a “shared ambition” to invest in innovation and technology that could “transform food and agricultural production”. LDC is one of the ABCD quartet of leading commodity traders, alongside Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge and Cargill. Founded as a grain trader in 1851 by Leopold Louis-Dreyfus, it produces, stores and ships about 80m tonnes of cotton, rice, sugar, grain and other agricultural products a year, with 2019 sales of $33.6bn and profit of $230m. Leopold’s great grandson, Robert Louis-Dreyfus, took over in 2006, three years before his death from leukaemia, when he put his wife Margarita in charge of the trust that held his 61pc stake. Commodities traders have been trying to diversify in recent years amid rising competition and trade wars. LDC has invested in partnerships with Leong Hup International, the poultry business based in Malaysia, and Luckin Coffee, the Chinese coffee chain. The terms of its deal with ADQ were not disclosed. LDC said at least $800m from the sale would be invested to support its long-term plans. H.E. Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, chief executive of ADQ, said: "We share LDC’s vision for future growth of the business, and look forward to partnering with LDC’s existing shareholders and management team to capitalize on the sector’s emerging opportunities."
The Commitments of Traders report covering positions held and changes made by money managers in the week to June 2 found that speculators only made relatively small changes. Buying of WTI crude oil, gas oil, copper and cotton were off-set by selling of gold, soymeal, corn and coffee.