The latest prices and key trends from the SM Commodities Index.
Aluminium has enjoyed a nice run since late September, with the benchmark London Metal Exchange (LME) price breeching $2,000 per tonne for the first time since October 2018. Positive market sentiment is feeding off several factors: a clear result in the US presidential election, continuing strength in China’s economy, a weaker US dollar, and optimism that vaccines will bring an end to the pandemic sooner rather than later in 2021. Fundamentals remain centred on China. Although IHS Markit expects the global market will record a surplus north of 2.6m tonnes in 2020, China’s economy continues to perform well and is supporting the global aluminum market almost by itself.
Sugar prices in Brazil jumped almost 18% in November. Most Brazilian mills have transitioned to offseason, leaving limited available new supply on the domestic market. The weaker Brazilian real encourages Brazil sugar exports while the world market has a tight sugar situation with Thailand, the second largest exporter, having back-to-back poor production seasons. Sugar prices are expected to remain elevated in Brazil until the next sugarcane crushing season opens in April.
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