Commodities

Base metals

Base metals, while not as sexy as the shiny “precious” metals such as gold, silver and platinum, formed a significant part of commodities investments in the recent super-cycle for commodities, which came crashing to earth in 2008. The website Kitco is the preeminant source of all things relating to base metals.

Iron ore

Iron ore, along with coking coal, is one of the raw materials used in the process to make steel. Steel needs equal parts of iron ore and coking coal and as we all now know, China has limited amounts of quality coal and iron ore and became increasing reliant on imports to meet their steel…

Iron ore

Iron ore, along with coking coal, is one of the raw materials used in the process to make steel. Steel needs equal parts of iron ore and coking coal and as we all now know, China has limited amounts of quality coal and iron ore and became increasing reliant on imports to meet their steel…

OPEC

OPEC member nations currently supply about 40% of the world’s crude oil and 16% of its natural gas. OPEC nations possess about 79% of the world’s total proven crude oil reserves and 44% of the world’s crude oil production. This means that OPEC effectively seeks to operate as a cartel, determining supply so as to…

Soft commodities

Soft commodities is a label for a set of commodities that includes cocoa, sugar, soy beans, grains, orange juice and coffee, to name a few. Soft commodities are generally differentianted from “hard” commodities such as metals and chemicals in that they are grown rather than mined. Soft commodity futures are used by farmers to lock…

London Metal Exchange (LME)

Investors interested in tracking base metal prices should go no further than the London Metal Exchange (www.lme.com). The LME is the world’s largest non-ferrous metal exchange, which manages over $2 trillion worth of traded contracts annually. The LME publishes inventory charts for 3 months to 27 months on base metals, which is a handy gauge…