While the broad stock market has been mostly locked in a sideways trading range for the last six months, there are several exchange traded funds (ETFs) that have bested the S&P 500’s 5.6% year-to-date return.
Sugar. Potential weather damage to sugar crops in Brazil, the world’s largest producer, helped push sugar prices to their highest price in almost eight months. The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects Brazil will harvest 3.2% less sugar can than previously estimated. The USDA also calculates that the United States will consume 115,00 metric tons more sugar on “strong demand for imported sugar.” [Sugar, Coffee and Cocoa ETNs Rally on Fundamentals.]
- iPath Dow Jones UBS Sugar TR sub-Index (NYSEArca: SGG): up 75.6% in the last six months.
Coffee. A shortage of coffee beans has meant that prices for arabica beans—the kind used in a decent cup of roast coffee—have jumped by more than a third in the past few months to multi-year highs. Fueling the price spike further is a weak harvest and a world growing increasingly full of coffee drinkers. Brazil’s harvest may be the savior and ease things, but the catch is that Brazil tends to keep a lot of its crop for itself an the crop is expected to be lower than in years past, anyway. [Coffee ETN Perks Up On Bean Shortage.]
- iPath Dow Jones AIG Coffee TR Sub-Index ETN (NYSEArca: JO): up 41.9% in the last six months.
Colombia. The Colombian economy, which is emerging from a slowdown last year, grew 4.4% in the first quarter, with the GDP expected to expand 5% for the second quarter of this year. Colombia’s central bank foresees increased capital flows into the economy through early 2011 and expects inflation to remain within policy makers’ long-range targets. Favorable terms of trade, larger capital flows, low international interest rates and a weak recovery in external demand for the country’s non-traditional products, will work in favor for the Colombian economy. [Why Colombia ETF Is One of the Year’s Best.]
- Global X/InterBolsa FTSE Colombia 20 Index (NYSEArca: GXG): up 41.3% in the last six months.
Cotton. Cotton prices have surged as a result of floods in Pakistan and China, as well as farmers shifting to more profitable crops. Officials of India’s cotton industry, the world’s second-largest producer after China, announced that cotton exports may be delayed to mid-October as a result of lower stockpiles and dwindling inflows of new crop. [Cotton ETN Benefits As Supplies Wane.]
- iPath Dow Jones-AIG Cotton Total Return Sub-Index ETN (NYSEArca: BAL): up 36.4% in the last six months.
Thailand. Thailand’s Finance Minister raised Thailand’s GDP growth projection, again, to 7.3% to 7.8% from the previous 5% to 6% forecast. Exports are expected to increase 25%, vehicle production, which is 11% of GDP, is calculated to jump 66% year-over-year. Thailand’’s stock market is at a 14-year high and the baht currency is also at a 13-year high. [Thailand ETF Recovers from Unrest.]
- iShares MSCI Thailand Invest Mkt Index (NYSEArca: THD): up 36.2% in the last 6-months.
Max Chen contributed to this article.
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.