It has been a rough year for some soft commodities exchange traded products. Strip out the stellar performances offered by the iPath Dow Jones-UBS Coffee Total Return Sub-Index ETN (NYSEArca: JO) and the iPath Pure Beta Coffee ETN (NYSEArca: CAFÉ), and the agricultural/soft commodities complex looks even more glum.
Despite drought conditions in some parts of the U.S., high crop yields have forced the Teucrium Corn Fund (NYSEArca: CORN) down 19.5% on the year while theTeucrium Soybean Fund (NYSEArca: SOYB) is off more than 11%. The government has already predicted record crops and believes exports will drop – Russian counter sanctions against Western countries will diminish overseas demand.
Some are worried about where all the new harvested crop will be placed. On top of the leftover reserves from last year’s high crop yield, grain production will bolster 2014 supply to 26.97 billion bushels, according to the USDA, compared to 23.4 billion of storage as of Dec. 1, 2013. [Bumper Crops Deck Corn, Soybean ETFs]
However, there are nascent signs select soft commodities are poised to rally.
“The corn ETF has been trading in a tight range for the past several weeks with rising cumulative volume. This indicator keeps a running tab of volume trading on up days minus down days, which serves as a good proxy for demand. While the major trend is still officially to the downside, recent stability in price and improvement in indicators makes this a market to watch,” reports Michael Kahn for Barron’s.
The iPath Dow Jones-UBS Livestock Subindex Total Return ETN (NYSEArca: COW) could be another candidate to keep an eye on.
After previously hitting record prices, cattle prices reversed course amid seasonal trends that typically see a dip in consumption later in the summer.
However, the pullback may be short-term as the market still faces significant fundamental hurdles. Specifically, the current herd size is the smallest since 1951. Additionally, while dry conditions have moderated, some ranchers are retaining breeding animals to expand herds rather than selling them for slaughter, which will further diminish supply. [Beef ETN Loses Its Sizzle]
COW “has been in decline since July, losing more than 10% from that peak, but it found buyers at a price level that acted as support and resistance over the past few years. More importantly, this is also the same price level at which the trend rapidly accelerated to the upside in February. Whatever prodded bulls into action six months ago seemed to remain fresh in investors’ minds,” according to Kahn in the Barron’s piece.
Teucrium Corn Fund
ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this piece.
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.