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Metal Sector

Precious Metals decreased by 2.11% MTD and increased by 
0.01% YTD. Industrial Metals went down to 2.88% MTD and 
by 2.77% YTD.

Precious metals also saw a decline in February. Gold and silver 
prices edged lower pressured by a recovering dollar and an 
expectation of higher interest rates, but supported by safe-haven 
buying after the sudden dismissal of U.S. Secretary of State Rex 
Tillerson. The political uncertainty has limited the downside price 
risk for gold in a raising rates environment, as opposed to driving 
prices significantly higher. Rising interest rates tend to make 
gold less attractive since it does not bear interest. Gold is seen 
as a safe haven during times of political and financial uncertainty 
and benefited on Tuesday when President Donald Trump fired 
Tillerson after a series of public rifts over policy, replacing 
him with loyalist CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Investors have 
switched to become more risk-averse following the unexpected 
news of Tillerson's dismissal and the appointment of Pompeo, 
said OCBC analyst Barnabas Gan. The U.S. dollar inched higher 
against major currencies, recovering from a decline caused by the 
dismissal of Tillerson. A stronger dollar makes commodities priced 
in the greenback more expensive for holders of other currencies. 
Copper prices fell, pushed lower by a stronger dollar which 
made metals more expensive for holders of other currencies, but 
trading volumes were low with many Asian markets closed for the 
Lunar New Year holiday. Copper stockpiles in LME-registered 
warehouses have risen to almost 340,000 tonnes from 200,000 
tonnes in early January, suggesting plentiful supply. 

Agriculture Sector

Agriculture was up by 4.70% MTD and by 6.25% YTD.

Food prices rose in February from the month before, as rising 
prices for staple grains and dairy products more than balanced out 
lower values for vegetable oils. Agricultural commodities have 
emerged from a highly volatile period and FAO has said it expects 
them to remain stable over the next decade. FAO raised its estimate 
for global cereals output in 2017 by 2 million tonnes to 2.642 
billion tonnes, a record high. Grain prices were generally firmer in 
February, underpinned by a brisk trade activity and concerns over 
unfavorable weather adversely affecting the US winter wheat 
and Argentina’s maize growing regions. International rice prices 

strengthened as well, although gains were capped by subsiding 
global demand for Indica supplies. In the meantime, the outlook 
of record soy crushings in the US weighed on international 
soybean quotations, while sluggish demand (primarily from 
the biodiesel sector) pressured rapeseed prices. International 
sugar prices remained under downward pressure, as production 
by major producers, such as Thailand and India, continued to 
expand. Sugar markets also remained depressed on expectation 
of a sharp rise in the EU production in 2017/18, boosted by higher 
beet yields and last year’s removal of output quotas, which gave 
rise to larger plantings.  
The median analyst forecasts for the month of February are 

as follows:

 Commodity

Median Analyst Expectation

Energy

Q1 18

Q2 18

Q3 18

Q4 18

Oil (Brent) ($ 

per barrel)

65.00

63.50

64.00

64.00

Natural Gas

46.24

38.50

41.00

48.50

Gold ($ / troy 

ounce)

1318.00

1313.00

1319.00

1318.00

Silver ($ / troy 

ounce)

17.13

17.00

17.45

17.30

Copper($/mt)

7000.00

6833.00

6849.00

6850.00

Corn (¢ / bushel)

360.00

370.00

380.00

380.00

Cotton (c/lb)

78.50

74.10

72.32

66.00

Soybeans (¢ / 

bushel)

990.00

985.00

990.00

993.00

Wheat (¢ / 

bushel)

445.00

452.68

465.00

460.00

Sugar ($/lb)

14.00

14.30

14.50

15.25 

Source: Commodity forecasts are made by the analysts of different institutions i.e. 

Goldman Sachs, ANZ Banking Group, JP Morgan, Citi Group, RBC Capital etc. 

Median forecast value of these commodities has been polled by Bloomberg. Data is 

availed through Bloomberg Professional Services.

Food prices rose in February from the month before, as rising prices for staple grains 

and dairy products more than balanced out lower values for vegetable oils. Agricultural 

commodities have emerged from a highly volatile period and FAO has said it expects them to 

remain stable over the next decade. FAO raised its estimate for global cereals output in 2017 

by 2 million tonnes to 2.642 billion tonnes, a record high.