ao link

Markets Extra

Linked In

Winners and, mainly, losers in ag futures from the coronavirus crisis - two months in


It is a matter for argument when to take as C-day - that is, when investors began to factor the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak into account in pricing.


But Agrimoney is taking it as January 20, when Chinese authorities announced that the disease was captable of human-to-human transmission. Agrimoney noted a rapid increase in mention of coronavirus in emails and notes from investors from late that day onwards.


So the site is taking January 19 (actually a Sunday) as the last day of Covid-free pricing.


The table below lists price performance over the second month since then.


Price changes over the first month of the outbreak can be found by clicking here.


Changing dimension


One factor illustrated by the tables is the change of mindset as was what was seen initially as a China-centred disease, potentially containable there, became a pandemic.


The top performers in the fist month since C-day - sugar and cocoa - turned among the worst as the realisation spread that this was a world problem.


Sugar investors, for instance, turned their attention from disappointing Indian and Thai output to the tumble in oil prices, and what that meant in terms of lower ethanol values, and thus the potential for Brazilian mills to turn cane into sweetener rather than biofuel.


Food security


Cotton, meanwhile, has enhanced its status as an industrial ag by performing in step with the overall Bcom commodities subindex.


However, ags as a whole have backed up their resputation as a defensive assets, thanks to the ever-present need for food.


The Bcom ag subindex has fallen far less hard than the broader Bcom, which in turn are less bruised than shares, as represented by the S&P 500 index. (All three of these are in bold below.)


Leading indicator?


Wheat is, on the food theme, notable among outperformers. Soymeal’s resilience is down to a knock-on effect of plunging ethanol prices (More on that here.)


Arabica coffee is perhaps the surprise outperformer, reflecting worries over supplies prompted by weak Brazil export data for February, but also concerns over logistical hiccups as Covid-19 spreads through Latin America.


Is coffee offering an early taste of a theme which will become more prevalent over the next month?



Price changes below given on a spot contract basis, except palm oil on a third-in contract basis. Some non-ags are included for comparison purposes. Price changes are compared with close on February 19.


Contract Change over the past month
Change since January 19
1 Arabica coffee (New York) +9.2% +4.0%
2 Soymeal (Chicago) +7.4% +4.7%
3 Feed wheat (London) +3.9% +1.9%
4 US dollar +3.1% +5.2%
5 Canola (Winnipeg) +0.8% -3.8%
6 Orange juice (New York) -1.4%+ 4.2%
7 Hard red winter wheat (Kansas City) -3.0% -5.8%
8 Hard red spring wheat (Minneapolis) -3.1% -7.2%
9 Soft milling wheat (Paris) -3.3% -2.4%


Soft red winter wheat (Chicago) -5.3% -6.3%
11 Robusta coffee (London) -5.7% -7.8%
12 Soybeans (Chicago) -6.0% -9.3%
13 Gold -8.8% -5.6%
14 Cocoa (London) -8.8% -9.5%
15 Bcom ag -9.2% -11.4%
16 Corn (Chicago) -9.3% -11.2%
17 Lean hogs (Chicago) -9.5% -9.6%
18 Whole milk powder (NZX) -11.9% -17.3%
19 Rapeseed (Paris) -12.8% -14.1%
20 Palm oil (Kuala Lumpur) -13.0% -21.9%
21 Soyoil (Chicago) -15.9% -23.7%
22 Feeder cattle (Chicago) -16.8% -19.5%
23 Bcom -19.8% -23.0%
24 Cotton (New York) -19.8% -22.9%
25 White sugar (London) -19.9% -15.3%
26 Cocoa (New York) -24.2% -20.8%
27 Ethanol (Chicago) -25.1% -24.6%
28 S&P 500 -28.8% -27.6%
29 Raw sugar (New York) -32.0% -26.7%
30 Brent crude -51.8% -56.1%
Month end price for spot contract, except benchmark contract for palm oil. Dollar reported against a trade-weighted index. Spot contract values as reported by Reuters




Related Stories

Brazilian corn 2020-21

Agrimoney collates estimates for Brazilian corn output and exports for 2020-21

Ukraine rapeseed 2020-21

Forecasts for rapeseed yield and output nex season in the key exporting country

China soybeans 2020-21

Forecasts for China’s soybean production, demand and the supply balance in 2020-21

Brazilian soybeans 2020-21

Agrimoney collates estimates for soybean supply and demand in the top exporting country
Home | About | RSS | Commodities | Companies | Markets | Legal disclaimer | Privacy policy | Contact

Our Brands: Comtell | Feedinfo | FGInsight

© 2021 and Agrimoney are trademarks of Agrimoney Ltd
Agrimoney is part of AgriBriefing Ltd
Agrimoney Ltd is registered in England & Wales. Registered number: 09239069