Summary

 

  • Two sectors gain, and four post losses in Q2
  • Iron ore is the leader on the upside with corn second.
  • Grains are the best-performing sector with precious metals coming in second.
  • Animal proteins were the worst-performing sector with base metals a close second
  • Best bets for Q3 2019 and beyond in commodities.

The raw material markets posted a small loss in the second quarter of 2019 even though the dollar index moved lower as trade issues between the US and China remained unresolved on the final trading day of the first half of the year. The commodity asset class consisting of 29 of the primary commodities that trade on U.S and U.K. exchanges moved 1.17% lower in Q2 but were still 5.23% higher over the first six months of this year. In 2018 the asset class had lost 6.82% of its value.

Commodities were up 7.95% in 2017 following on the heels of 13.41% appreciation in 2016. The overall winner of the 29 for the quarter was iron ore that posted a gain of 30.72% for the three-month period with CBOT corn futures in second place with a 17.88% gain. The most significant move to the upside came in Baltic Dry index, which rose 93.64% after a 45% loss in Q1 which reflects the seasonal nature of the shipping index. The biggest losers for the quarter came from the soft commodities sector as cotton and FCOJ futures dropped 18.63% and 15.8% respectively. So far in 2019, the commodity that was the best performer over the first six months of the year was iron ore with a better than 63% gain, and gasoline was 45.66% higher than its closing price at the end of 2018. Natural gas was the worst performing commodities since the end of last year with a 21.5% loss with FCOJ hot on its heels as its price dropped by 19.34%.

There were six double-digit percentage gainers in Q2, and six double-digit percentage losers during the past three months. Winners and losers were balanced in the quarter that ended last Friday.

The U.S. dollar is always a significant factor when it comes to commodity prices as it tends to have an inverse value relationship with raw material prices. The dollar index posted a 1.22% loss but was only 0.07% lower over the first half of this year after moving 4.26% higher in 2018, which followed a 10.23% decline in 2017. The dollar fell at the end of Q2 when the Fed told markets that interest rates would likely head lower before the end of this year.

The Fed pushed the Fed Funds rate at 2.25-2.50% at the end of 2018. However, 2019 has been a year of reversal for the US central bank. At their June meeting, the Fed cited inflation below the 2% target rates and “crosscurrents” from Europe and China as weighing on global economic conditions as reasons for its more dovish guidance when it comes to the path of the Fed Funds rate. Lower interest rates are bullish for commodities prices as they weigh on the value of the US dollar, but the reasons for lower rates may stand in front of future gains. The weak Chinese economy because of the ongoing trade dispute with the US is a problem for many commodities prices as China is the world’s leading consumer of raw materials. The summit between Presidents Trump and Xi took place on June 29 at the G20 meeting after markets closed for the second quarter. Time will tell if the meeting between the leaders of the nations with the world’s leading GDPs will result in progress on trade, which would be a positive sign for commodities prices.

Stocks added to first quarter gains in the second quarter as the prospects for lower rates support equity prices. The DJIA fell by 5.63% in 2018 but posted an 11.15% gain in Q1. In Q2, the DJIA was 2.59% higher and moved 14.03% to the upside over the first half of this year. The S&P 500 moved 6.24% lower in 2018 and moved 13.07% higher in Q1. In Q2, it gained 3.79% and was 17.35% higher over the six-month period. The tech-heavy NASDAQ fell 3.88% in 2018, but it turned around and posted a 16.64% gain over the first three months of 2019. In Q2, it moved another 3.45% higher and was 20.66% higher so far in 2019 as of the close of business on June 28. The VIX index which hovered around 10 in 2017, closed Q4 at 25.42. On March 29, the VIX finished at 13.71 down 11.71 as stocks took the elevator down in Q4 2018 and the stairs higher over the first three months of this year. In Q2, the VIX settled at 15.08, up 1.37 on a quarter-to-quarter basis on the back of trade issues and the rising tensions between the US and Iran. As we head into Q3, the danger of periodic spikes in volatility continues to lurk in the background. Commodities are on the front lines when it comes to tariffs and retaliatory measures as duties and subsidies distort raw materials prices. The trade talks between the leaders of the US and China will influence the prices of markets across all asset classes during the initial trading sessions of Q3.

Grains were the most bullish sector in Q2 as weather-related planting delays boosted prices, but energy prices continue to be the leader since the end of 2018. Precious metals posted gains on a sector basis in Q2, while the energy sector only moved marginally lower. Base metals led the losers on the back of fears over the trade dispute followed closely by animal proteins.

On the geopolitical front, there are many areas of turmoil around the world. Aside from trade, the standoff between the US and Iran in the Middle East has already resulted in several incidents including attacks on tankers, missiles landing on Saudi sovereign territory and the downing of the US drone near the Strait of Hormuz. While the US did not retaliate with a show of military strength, President Trump promised that further aggressive actions would be a mistake for the theocracy in Iran. As we head into Q3, the trade issue is likely to dominate the markets because of the impact of protectionism on global economic growth.

Political divisiveness in the U.S. continues to separate many along partisan lines. The 2020 Presidential election is now in high gear with the first round of debates by the Democrats competing for their party’s nomination. The political party has shifted to the left with many candidates embracing a progressive agenda and “Democratic Socialism.” The leader in the polls on the Democrat side is former Vice President Joe Biden, but Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren together represent a voting block that could pose a threat to Biden’s nomination. Senator Kamala Harris was the emerging star after the first round of debates. The election between the eventual nominee and President Trump could be even more contentious than the 2016 contest.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., the special prosecutor issued his report on collusion in the 2016 election in Q2. Many in Congress have called for impeachment hearings, but at the end of June, they have not commenced. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi seems more concerned with defeating the sitting President at the polls rather than going down the politically dangerous route of impeachment since the Democrats do not have support in the Senate for conviction which would remove President Trump from office. The calls for impeachment will likely increase during the third quarter.

In Q2, UK Prime Minister Theresa May resigned, and as of the end of June, the Conservative Party had not named a replacement. Boris Johnson, the former Mayor of London and ex-Foreign Secretary under Prime Minister May, is the leading candidate for the job. However, the lack of any agreement over the future of Brexit could lead to a new general election in the UK in Q3. The next deadline for Brexit is at the end of October. The nation will need to decide if they will remain within the EU, exit with a deal or no deal, or extend the issue when October rolls around. The uncertainty over the UK’s membership in the EU remains at the same level as the day after the referendum three years ago in June 2016.

Aside from politics and economics which continue to be a toxic cocktail of volatility for all markets, the third quarter of 2019 is a time of the year when the weather conditions across the fertile plains of the US will determine the path of least resistance of grain prices. The US is the leading producer and exporter of corn and soybeans, and an influential exporter of wheat to the world. The late planting season caused grain prices to move appreciably higher in Q2, and only Mother Nature knows if that trend will continue over the summer months. Drought conditions would damage the immature plants and could result in a smaller harvest. Some analysts have said that corn lost 7.5 million acres of production already this crop year. Population around the world continues to grow by 18-20 million people each quarter, which means that there are more mouths to feed. We could see lots of volatility in the grain sector over the coming three months if crop yields suffer because of the hot summer sun.

A myriad of complex factors on a macro and microeconomic basis with dictate the price direction for the commodities market over the coming three months.

The Invesco DB Commodity Tracking ETF (DBC) product is one of the most liquid macro commodities products with a substantial weighting towards crude oil and energy commodities.

Winners in Q2

During the period from April through June 2019, we saw gains and losses that resulted in a slightly more than one percent move in the asset class to the downside. Two of the six primary sectors of the commodities asset class posted a gain in Q2. The top three performing commodities for Q2 were iron ore which appreciated by 30.72%, CBOT corn futures which were up 17.88%, and CBOT wheat futures which posted a 15.35% gain compared to its price at the end of 2018. The other double-digit percentage gainers in Q1 included coffee that recovered by 14.55%, palladium up 14.2% and ethanol that gained 11.9%.

In Q2, grains led the commodities asset class with an 8.08% gain, followed by precious metals that were 5.65% higher since the end of March 2019.

Commodities that moved between 5% and 10% to the upside include gold which gained 9.03%, cocoa which was 7.46% higher, lumber that moved 5.19% higher, and KCBT wheat added 5.00% over the second quarter.

The commodities that were 3% to 5% higher was only the rice futures market that moved 3.92% to the upside.

Marginal increases of 1-3% occurred in soybean meal, soybeans, and oats oil futures markets. Commodities that gained less than 1% in Q1 included silver and gasoline.

Over the first six months of 2019, the energy sector continues to lead the asset class with a 17.97% gain. Precious metals were 10.29% higher, with grains 5.96% higher, and base metals still 1.69% above where they closed at the end of 2018.

The CFTC has defined digital currencies as commodities. The cryptocurrency asset class that was all the rage in 2017 plunged in 2018. In Q1, the asset class moved to the upside but did little to erase losses from last year. In Q2, prices exploded higher. Bitcoin gained 202.92% in Q2 and closed at the $12,344.05 level. The market cap of the asset class as a whole moved from $144.330 billion at the end of Q1 to $347.407 billion on June 28, up 142.38% for the three-month period as Bitcoin outperformed the other tokens in the second three months of 2019. Ethereum posted a 120.09% gain in Q2 while Litecoin was over 95.23% higher for the period. Bitcoin Cash was over 155%, but it was Bitcoin that was the leader of the pack. The rise in digital currencies, together with the above 9% gain in the price of gold is a commentary on the value of fiat currencies. At the same time, the devaluation of the Chinese yuan likely drove buying into the gold and digital currency markets as they can serve as shelters for wealth. Facebook’s announcement that they are looking to roll out a digital currency, Libra, with a group of partners added support to the cryptocurrency asset class.

 

Losers in Q2

The biggest loser in Q2 was the animal protein sector that declined by 8.23% over the three-month period led by an over 12% loss in live cattle futures. Base metals posted an 8,14% loss for the period with the price of zinc falling by over 14%. Soft commodities lost 2.82%, and the energy sector edged 1.54% lower over the three months that ended last Friday.

The three worst-performing commodities of Q2 were cotton, which was down by 18.63%, FCOJ futures that dropped 15.8%, and LME zinc that declined 14.41%. Natural gas shed 13.3% of its value in Q2 while LME tin was down 12.15%. Live cattle futures dropped by 12.09% rounding out the commodities that suffered double-digit percentage losses for the quarter.

Those commodities that lost 5% to 10% were copper in COMEX and the LME, which declined 7.85% and 7.64% respectively. Lean hog futures fell 6.82% while LME aluminum posted a 6.27% loss. Feeder cattle were 5.78% lower, and LME lead declined by 5.27%.

Brent crude oil suffered a 4.2% loss, while LME nickel dropped by 3.13%. NYMEX crude oil, sugar, heating oil, platinum, soybean oil, and MGE wheat all moved between 0% and 3% to the downside in Q2.

The leading losers over the first six months of 2019 were natural gas which declined 21.5% since the end of 2018, FCOJ down 19.34% and cotton futures which lost 12.52% through the first half of the year.

Gasoline and heating oil processing spreads reflected seasonal factors as we moved into the peak season of demand for gasoline in Q2. Gasoline cracks moved 12.58% higher while heating oil cracks which are a proxy for distillate products posted a 2.35% gain at the end of the second quarter compared to their closing prices at the end of Q1 2019.

On a sector basis, soft commodities were 4.35% lower over the first six months of 2019. Animal proteins were only 0.20% lower than the closing level at the end of December 2018.

Issues to look forward to in Q3

The dollar moved lower as the Fed told markets that short-term interest rates are likely to fall over the coming months. The market’s consensus is that the central bank will cut rates by 50 basis points by the end of 2019.  Gold took off to the upside in the aftermath of the Fed announcement at their June meeting.

Source: CQG

At the end of Q1, I wrote, “Gold is a barometer for fear and uncertainty, and while the yellow metal reached a high at $1344 during Q1, it closed the quarter at just above the $1290 level after selling during the final week. As we move into Q2, the gold market will face the bearish key reversal trading pattern on the daily chart from the last week of March which means that the precious metal could experience more selling before it reaches a new bottom. Technical support stands at the $1250, $1200, and $1161.40 levels. On the upside, resistance is at the 2018 high at $1365.40 and the 2016 peak at $1377.50. Gold will likely follow inversely to the US dollar, which closed Q1 on a strong note.”

Gold traded to a low at $1266 in Q2, but it broke out of its $331.30 trading range which had been in place since 2014 and rose to a high at $1433.30 per ounce in late June, the highest level since 2013. The break to the upside in the gold market was a significant technical event in Q2 and could lead to further gains in Q3. Gold closed the first half of the year at above the $1400 level. Lower US rates and a weaker dollar are a potent bullish cocktail for the price of the yellow metal as well as for many other commodities.

Trade will continue to be a significant focus for markets across all asset classes over the next three months, but the tensions in the Middle East between the US and Iran could take center stage. In the grain markets, the weather conditions in July and August will determine if 2019 is another year of bumper crops. And, there are always surprises that have a habit of moving markets and creating wild price swings at times. The economic and political landscapes of the world going into the third quarter of 2019 promise more volatility in markets across all asset classes.

History- Results from my best bets for Q2

The results of my best bets for Q2 from my Q1-2019 report are as follows:

  • Brexit and US trade with China will be the leading issues that impact markets over the coming three months. At the same time, the inversion in the yield curve could cause rising concerns that a recession is on the horizon in the Us. However, an agreement on trade would be a bullish shot in the arm for the global economy, and my bet is that the US and China sign a deal in Q2.

I got this wrong as Brexit was extended and the trade dispute escalated during Q2. However, the concerns over “crosscurrents” from the global economy caused the Fed to pivot to more dovish guidance when it comes to monetary policy and short-term interest rates in the US.

  • Gold is in a precarious position as we head into Q2. I continue to like the prospects for gold given lower US rates and a dollar index that continues to fail at the mid-December high. I favor gold but would reconsider my bullish stance if the price drops below the $1225 level. When it comes to silver, I favor long positions with very tight stops in the market that always tends to move the most on a percentage basis. I believe that the global monetary system and position of fiat currencies present a compelling case for owning gold and silver in the current environment.

Gold did not trade below my stop levels and broke out to the upside above the 2016 high in late June.

  • Platinum remains cheap against all other precious metals and a significant recovery in the price of platinum is overdue.

Platinum attempted to rally but moved lower in Q2 as the precious metal continues to lag all other metals in the sector.

  • Copper will likely continue to run into selling around the $3 per pound level, but a trade deal could be the medicine the copper market needs to push the red metal back into bullish mode. I favor buying copper on dips so long as the market remains optimistic on the prospects for a trade deal between the US and China as the Chinese are the demand side of the equation in the copper market.

Copper failed at just below the $3 per pound level in Q2 and fell to just under $3 per pound before recovering to the $2.70 level at the end of the quarter. Buying copper when it looked particularly ugly in early June was, so far, a profitable approach to the red metal. However, the base metals sector posted losses in Q2.

  • Grain prices are limping into the 2019 crop year in the northern hemisphere despite floods in the Midwest and the prospects for a trade deal with China. I believe that corn, soybeans, and wheat all offer value at their price levels at the end of Q1 and favor long positions in all three agricultural commodities in Q2.

All three of the leading grain markets spiked lower following the May WASDE report and the escalation of trade tensions between the US and China. However, a significant recovery followed the moves to the downside on the back of flooding and delays in planting during the start of the 2019 crop year.

  • An approval of lifting the ban on E15 could cause higher highs in the ethanol futures market, which would also support corn. However, when it comes to grains, trade and weather will determine the path of least resistance of prices over the coming three months.

Both corn and ethanol prices posted double-digit percentage gains in Q2.

  • Wheat is the primary ingredient in flour and bread. With global demand on the rise, I believe the base price for wheat is increasing and favor buying wheat on any price weakness in Q2 as risk-reward favors the long side of the wheat trade.

CBOT wheat moved over 15% higher in Q2 on the back of rallies in the three leading grain markets. CBOT wheat was the second-best performing member of the grain sector after corn.

  • At $60 per barrel, the risk of long positions in crude oil has increased. President Trump is likely to continue to pressure Saudi Arabia and other allies in OPEC to increase their output, but a trade deal with China could boost demand for the energy commodity. At the same time, the Trump administration will make a decision on exemptions to the nations buying crude oil from Iran in May, which could add additional uncertainty to the oil market. I favor buying crude oil on dips but would use $53.99 as a stop on any long positions on nearby NYMEX futures.

Crude oil reached a high at $66.60 per barrel on the nearby NYMEX futures contract in late April before turning lower. I was not long on the way down as I used a trailing stop and did not have to stop out at $53.99 when the price traded to a low at $50.60 per barrel in early June. The Trump administration did not extend the exemptions and tensions in the Middle East took the price to just under the $58.50 level at the end Q2.

  • Gasoline prices could run out of steam given the 44.57% rally in Q1. We are coming into the peak season, but the futures market made its move in Q1. I continue to like the prospects for refining stocks like VLO and others who will experience profits at the current level of crack spreads. My target on VLO is in the mid to high $90s per share.

Gasoline followed crude oil lower before a refinery fire in Philadelphia boosted the price in June. Gasoline posted a marginal gain for the quarter. VLO reached a high at $92.70 in late April, but it turned lower. The stock was at the $85.61 level at the end of Q2.

  • I believe that we saw a low for 2019 in natural gas in February at $2.543 per MMBtu. I will be looking to buy on price weakness but would stop out of any long positions if the price slips below the $2.4490 per MMBtu level in Q2.

Rising inventories caused natural gas to fall to its lowest price since 2016 during Q2. The stop below $2.4490 only produced a small loss on long positions.

  • Sugar continues to consolidate around the 12.50 level, and its price path will depend on oil and the level of the Brazilian real. The selling in emerging market currencies late in Q1 weighed on the price of sugar futures. I would be a buyer of sugar on a dip but would stop out if the price moves below the 10.99 level as that could trigger a retest of the 2018 low at 9.83 cents where I would re-establish long positions.

The price of sugar did not move below my stop level, but it traded in a tight range throughout the quarter.

  • Coffee looks awful at 94.5 cents per pound, but like sugar, the path of least resistance is likely to depend on the direction of the Brazilian real against the US dollar. I believe that coffee is at the bottom of its pricing cycle, but that does not mean the price cannot go lower and establish a lower bottom in Q2. I am a buyer of coffee on weakness and will continue to add to the position at new lows. However, a break below 90 cents would be a stop level, and I would look to re-establish at lower levels if the Arabica beans fall to new lows.

I initially stopped out of coffee when the price broke 90 cents but re-established at lower levels, which led to a profitable position in the coffee market.

  • Cocoa remains in its $2000-$2400 trading range. Brexit could cause volatility in the cocoa market as London is the hub of international cocoa bean trading. I favor an eventual break to the upside, given the steady and rising demand from China for chocolate confectionery products. I will be a buyer of cocoa on price weakness and look to take profits on rallies as the price remains in its trading range. I would also look to buy call options on futures when the price drops below its midpoint for expiration in Q2 2020.

Cocoa broke higher in Q2, reaching a peak at $2583 on production issues from Ghana. I took profits on long positions and did not reenter the market.

  • Cotton could become interesting if the price breaks above the 80 cents per pound level. Cotton rose to a high at 96.50 in March 2018, which tends to be the time of the year when cotton peaks. I am bullish on cotton but am using a tight stop on long positions as we head into Q2. I believe cotton has the potential to surprise on the upside over the coming weeks and months.

Cotton did not make it over the 80 cents per pound level in Q2, and the tight stops saved me in the cotton futures market. The price traded down to just above 60 cents per pound on the nearby ICE futures contract.

  • I will remain short the dollar index with a stop above 98.25 on the dollar index. The recent pivot by the Fed was not bullish for the dollar, and the administration in Washington DC is likely to continue to favor a weaker dollar as a tool in international trade. Interest rate differentials continue to support the dollar, but the trajectory of rate hikes has come to an end for 2019. The dollar ended Q1 near the highs but has refused to move to a higher high than in December 2018, which I view as a sign of weakness in the greenback. I continue to favor long positions in the Australian and Canadian dollar because of their exposure to commodity prices. Additionally, I favor buying the Brazilian real on weakness against the dollar as the Bolsonaro government is attempting to institute reforms that should be supportive for the currency of South America’s leading economy.

I did not stop out of short positions on the dollar index, which turned out to be a profitable trade given the Fed’s guidance on interest rates. I stopped out of long positions in the Australian dollar, but not on the Canadian dollar. I remained long the Brazilian real and Brazilian-related assets throughout Q2.

  • I expect lots of volatility in cattle and hog prices as the 2019 grilling season starts at the end of May. If African Swine Fever continues to threaten global pork supplies, the price of the meat could rally past the $1 per pound level. Meanwhile, the trend in live cattle futures continues to be bullish.

Cattle and hogs were awful performers in Q2 as meat futures prices fell. African Swine Fever took hogs higher at first, but the market reversed.

  • Bitcoin’s direction could depend on the approval of an ETF product which I would view as a highly bullish development in the cryptocurrency arena. The levels I will watch in Bitcoin in Q2 will be $3500 on the downside and $4100 on the upside where the price settled at the end of Q1. The wider range is at $3000 to $5800, a break of either level on the up or downside could trigger a significant move. I will go with the flow on any positions in digital currencies, which I view as trading sardines as we head into Q2.

Buying Bitcoin on a break above the $4100 level turned out to be the best trade of the quarter as the price moved above the $13,000 level in late June.

Best bets for Q3 2019- Commodities

As we move into Q3, there are lots of events that will move markets across all asset classes.

My best bets for Q3 are:

  • I expect a very choppy stock market in Q3 given concerns over trade, but the Fed has provided support for equity prices. I favor buying VIX-related instruments on price dips
  • The dollar index is likely to remain under pressure if interest rates fall in Q3
  • The path of least resistance for Bitcoin and digital currencies is higher going into Q3. I believe we will see higher highs in the cryptocurrencies
  • I am bullish on the Brazilian real and the Canadian dollar
  • Gold broke out to the upside. I will use a trailing stop at $1359 on long positions but would reestablish longs in gold and mining stocks if the price falls below that level and runs out of steam. I believe that gold has the potential to move much higher over the coming months
  • I favor long positions in silver with a stop under $14 as risk-reward and the ratio favor a recovery in the silver market
  • I continue to favor platinum on the long side and would purchase physical metal or the PPLT ETF product on price weakness
  • I favor FCX stock and would add on price weakness. I also favor copper with a stop below the $2.50 per pound level in Q3
  • The moment of truth has arrived for grains as the weather over the coming weeks will dictate the price direction. I will use tight stops on long positions, and only carry a small long core position on rallies
  • I have no significant conviction when it comes to the direction of crude oil. I would look for trade with tight stops on a short-term basis in the energy commodity in Q3
  • I am rooting natural gas lower so I can pick up some bargains during the summer months in UNG, call options on futures, or natural gas producer equities for the winter season in late 2019 and early 2020 if the price continues to make lower lows.
  • I continue to favor sugar, coffee, and FCOJ given the connection to Brazil and expectations for a recovery in the Brazilian currency
  • Meats look awful, but any news of a trade deal with China or US shipment of pork to China could lift the price given the impact of African swine fever.

 

 

The Invesco DB Commodity Tracking ETF product holds a diversified basket of raw material futures, but it is weighted towards energy products. The fund summary for DBC states:

The investment seeks to track changes, whether positive or negative, in the level of the DBIQ Optimum Yield Diversified Commodity Index Excess Return™. The fund pursues its investment objective by investing in index commodities. The index commodities are Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI), Heating Oil, RBOB Gasoline, Natural Gas, Brent Crude, Gold, Silver, Aluminum, Zinc, Copper Grade A, Corn, Wheat, Soybeans, and Sugar. The index is composed of notional amounts of each of these commodities.

The most recent top holdings of DBC include:

Source: Yahoo Finance

DBC has $1.61 billion in net assets, which dropped by $190 million from the end of Q1. The product trades an average of 908,126 shares each day, which was down by over 880,000 shares since the end of the first quarter of 2019. So far in 2019, net assets dropped by $410 million, and average volume declined by over 1,490,000 shares since the end of 2018, which is a sign of receding interest in the commodities asset class.

Source: Barchart

As the chart shows, DBC moved from $15.90 at the end of Q1 to $15.73 per share at the end of Q1, a decline of 1.07% for the quarter. DBC has high exposure to the energy sector, which was lower in Q2. DBC marginally outperformed the asset class in Q1 as the composite of 29 commodities fell by 1.17%.

Many opportunities lie ahead in the commodities markets in Q2. Commodities are volatile assets and trading rather than investing is likely to yield optimal results. Keep your stops tight and take profits when they are on the table. Never worry about missing a trade or investment because there is always another opportunity just around the corner. Discipline, a logical risk-reward approach using stops, and flexibility are critical elements for success in the world of commodities. Keep your eyes on US interest rates and the dollar, the trade negotiations with China, and Iran. Other factors will also likely impact markets as the economic and geopolitical state of the world is dynamic as we head into the second half of the year.

Any investment involves substantial risks, including, but not limited to, pricing volatility, inadequate liquidity, and the potential complete loss of principal. This document does not in any way constitute an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any investment, security, or commodity discussed herein, or any security in any jurisdiction in which such an offer would be unlawful under the securities laws of such jurisdiction.