The Bull Market in Commodity Prices Becomes Self-Sustaining

Includes: DBC, GSG, RJI
by: Daily Trading

I don't think the average punter/economist in the street understands that commodities have broken through key pricing levels in multi-currency terms. Furthermore, while many commodities are trading at multi-month/year highs in USD terms, in multi-currency terms they are still well below the peak they reached in 2008 ... so squash any thoughts you have of commodities being in a "bubble."

Below is the CRB Index against my Proprietary Currency Index (an index of 16 currencies against the USD, all equally weighted). In effect, this chart gives a representation of the performance of the CRB against a broad basket of currencies.

[Click to enlarge]
Click to enlarge

We now have an uptrend, obviously; perhaps what is a little elusive is just how far this trend will go.

From a technical perspective, it is very healthy. Major tops in markets tend to be characterized by either a speculative blow-off (a rapid rise in the price of commodities in a relatively short period of time) or a "churning" action where, after a sustained rise in prices, the major indices start trading in a range. Neither of these conditions currently exist.

More importantly from a fundamental perspective, it would appear that the conditions are now supportive of a rise in commodities materially in excess of the levels reached in 2008. This is largely thanks to all the money-printing efforts of central authorities over the last two years and an overwhelming desire by governments not to let their respective currencies appreciate for fear of losing exports.

With macro trends, the age-old saying "Once in motion, an object tends to stay in motion" is particularly applicable. We now have a primary uptrend of commodity prices in multi-currency terms. It is not a case of whether or not we face inflationary conditions over the coming months; rather, just how much.

Given that we have never witnessed the level of money-printing over the last two years in modern history -- and that, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction -- the level of inflation we are about to experience over the coming months/years may well make the 1970s appear to be a decade of "mild" inflation. The "inflation trade" is not yet crowded; get in before schoolkids and housewives start speculating in commodities.

Disclosure: I am long DBC.