(Bloomberg) — Commodities may deliver breathtaking returns amid tight supplies and low inventories, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s mid-year outlook.
Returns could total 10% by the end of the northern hemisphere summer and 5% by year-end. Volatility will also stay elevated, the report said. Oil may touch $150 per barrel in the short-term, while corn could reach $13 a bushel — a record price by a long shot.
“Lack of inventory buffer is leaving the market vulnerable to unplanned supply outages, such as the spiraling Libyan protests, worsening US crop conditions and active hurricane season in the Atlantic that may shut down refiners in the Gulf of Mexico,” analysts including Natasha Kaneva said in the report.
Because of the conditions, “the entire complex remains a buy,” the report said. Volatility of the Bloomberg Commodity Index more than doubled since before the pandemic, the report said.
In oil, global markets have tightened with refining capacity reduced in Russia and China, and shortages of gas and diesel getting worse as demand climbs for transportation fuels. In agriculture, the report says there’s “little visibility” on when grain shipments from Ukraine, the world’s fifth largest exporter, could resume. Exposure to crop commodities could therefore deliver a 30% return “under an upside scenario,” according to the report.
For consumers, there will be little relief from food inflation and high prices.
“Unlike prior food price inflationary episodes, high prices alone will in not be sufficient to solve the inventory crunch on this occasion, which is likely to be lasting in our view,” the report said.
(Updates with comments on volatility in the fourth paragraph.)
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