This Week’s Must-Watch Charts for Global Commodities Markets

The world’s top gold executives are converging on Denver this week, energy executives from across the globe are gathering in Calgary and climate experts and policymakers are taking over New York

This Week’s Must-Watch Charts for Global Commodities Markets
By Doug Alexander
September 18, 2023 | 10:01 AM

Bloomberg — The world’s top gold executives are converging on Denver this week, energy executives from across the globe are gathering in Calgary and climate experts and policymakers are taking over New York. These massive industry conferences are setting the stage for lively discussions on the world’s most watched commodities.


The oil-and-gas industry meets at the World Petroleum Congress in Canada’s energy hub, where this year’s theme of zeroing out emissions competes with talk of market fundamentals and the politics behind fossil fuels. Such subjects also weigh on US President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign as it kicks into high gear during a time of rising oil prices and tightening supplies. With Saudi Arabia and Russia prolonging their unilateral oil-supply curbs into December, more focus will be placed on domestic production.

Brent oil rose toward $95 a barrel on Monday, extending a powerful surge driven by the supply curbs and resilient demand. Meanwhile, US pump prices at a seasonal record are garnering the attention of Republicans who are keen to bash Biden’s economic and climate policies. Gasoline prices are one of the most visible signs of inflation, and Americans typically blame the White House when costs rise — despite the president having little control. More expensive fill-ups will certainly be a key issue for the swing voters Biden will need on election day.

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Climate Week NYC will attract senior policymakers, business leaders, climate experts and others to New York for the annual event. The gathering comes less than two weeks after a landmark United Nations assessment showed that countries are largely failing to meet their commitments to cut emissions, putting the planet on course for catastrophic global warming. Governments must rapidly find a way to cut billions of tons of carbon dioxide if they want to stop the world from exceeding 1.5C of warming by the end of the decade, the Sept. 8 UN report said. This Northern Hemisphere summer was already the warmest on record globally — by a large margin — as extreme heat waves gripped North America, Europe and Asia.

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The US is poised to become the world’s biggest supplier of liquefied natural gas for the first time, after global export figures for the first half of this year showed the country edging past Australia and Qatar. The US move is largely due to the restart of Freeport LNG in Texas after a 2022 fire shuttered the plant, with added output boosting American production. Meanwhile, strikes have threatened Australian LNG at two Chevron plants, prompting traders in Europe and Asia to react to supply jitters on the spot market ahead of the Northern Hemisphere’s peak winter demand. The US looks to unseat Qatar as the top global supplier thanks to its abundant shale resources and interest from global buyers in the wake of the Ukraine invasion of 2022 that reduced Russian gas to Europe.

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When investors, gold miners and bankers converge at Denver Gold Forum this week, valuation of bullion miners and how that plays into future takeovers will be top of mind. The resilience of gold prices, however, have made the safe haven a better investment than the companies mining the precious metal. Gold has returned more than 10% in the past 12 months, while a Bloomberg Intelligence index with top names such as Newmont Corp., Barrick Gold Corp. and Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. is down. Miners are struggling with missed production goals, rising costs and operational challenges, while gold has held steady despite a higher interest rate environment that typically reduces the metal’s appeal since it pays no interest. Gold rose as much as 0.4% on Monday to as high as $1,930.67 an ounce, extending last week’s 0.3% gain.

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Drought has taken its toll on US cotton, with dryness and heat undermining production in Texas, which produces about 40% of America’s crop. The top-growing state just recorded its second-hottest summer ever and is almost entirely in drought, dragging down crop quality and threatening output of the fiber. The US has just lost its title as the world’s No. 3 cotton producer, with US government numbers released last week showing Brazil climbing the ranking. It’s a remarkable climbdown for a nation that was the global leader in cotton production for much of the 1960s and ‘70s — and then China surged ahead. In the past four decades, that US dominance has dissipated while India, China and Brazil have lifted production. Cotton futures rose as much as 1.2% Monday in New York, the biggest intraday advance in more than a week.

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