In yesterday’s commentary, I wrote that China was attempting to rebalance its economy, which ultimately means a slowdown in its use of commodities. This has hit the commodities currencies particularly hard, with the Australian Dollar down over 16%. Commodity producers are going to be the biggest losers from a Chinese rebalancing. And the question then is what happens to their economies. Let’s look at Australia
Tag: peak resources
We’ve had a number of questions on energy sources in the United States – particularly with respect to the generation of electricity. Here are a few interesting facts about recent trends that hopefully help clarify some of the confusion surrounding this topic.
Intense conflicts over water will probably not be confined to the developing world. So far, Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado have been able to make and keep agreements defining who gets how much of the Colorado River’s water. But if populations continue to grow while the snowcap recedes, it’s likely that the first shots will be fired before long, in US courtrooms. If legal remedies fail… a war between Phoenix and LA might seem far-fetched, but at the minimum some serious upheaval will eventually ensue unless an alternative is found quickly.
Jeremy Grantham’s quarterly piece is out now and the important topic is the lack of growth in the US. The way that Grantham paints the picture – and I believe this is an accurate depiction – the US is not just suffering from a cyclical growth slowdown but faces a secular growth slowdown of monumental proportions, especially in view of […]
By Frederick J. Sheehan Editor’s Note: Edward Harrison will be writing about the logic others feel support he other side of this trade based on views that Deniis Gartman espoused at an investment conference earlier today. Frederick J. Sheehan is the author of Panderer to Power: The Untold Story of How Alan Greenspan Enriched Wall Street and Left a Legacy of Recession (McGraw-Hill, 2009) […]
Editor’s note: As controversial as the subject of peak oil is, the comments about global warming and other environmental problems are equally controversial. This site does not subscribe to the view that global warming concern is overblown or that technology ‘”will save us” from man’s overuse of finite natural resources without serious ill effects on many populations due to cost […]
Question for you: Which distinctly British asset class has offered the most attractive returns over the past decade? Central London property? Not even close, even if it has done rather well. UK farmland is the answer, having more than tripled in value over a decade which will otherwise not be remembered for its outsized returns (see story here). The rise in farmland values is not only a British phenomenon. All over Northern Europe and North America farmland values have responded well to higher commodity prices. Last year alone, farmland prices in the US Midwest appreciated by 22% on average.
Coal is one of many natural resources which are in short supply. This article provides one example from India. Jeremy Grantham believes that peak resources is a phenomenon which will pose problems for the global economy in the future. He has written a second consecutive quarterly note on peak resources that this time concentrates on the human suffering.
A world in which basic natural resources are neither cheap nor abundant and in which the debt levels in leading economies are very high is one prone to geopolitical instability.
Coal prices are surging ahead even as most other commodities pull back, spurred on by expectations that metallurgical and thermal coal production will again fail to meet rising global demand this year. The result? Record profits for major coal producers like Xstrata, a surge in acquisitions from coal-hungry India, Chinese electricity shortages, and a raging carbon tax debate in Australia amid record investments in that country’s coal-heavy mining sector.
You have strong growth in emerging markets offset by weaker growth in the developed economies. Who wins this battle? For now, EM is winning and that is bullish for commodities over the near-term.
“I hope that silver goes down for a while because it was turning into a parabolic move, every parabolic move ends badly, I hope that silver and all commodities continue to go up with normal corrections along the way and in 5 or 10 years, they’re going to be unbelievably high prices and then I hope I’m smart enough to sell if the bull market is coming to an end.”
-Jim Rogers, on CNBC this morning before the rout