The latest prices and key trends from the SM Commodities Index.
Iron ore prices rose in late December and early January based primarily on positive sentiment from Covid-related reopening in mainland China.
Steel demand has improved, although not as much as prices, so the recent increases will have difficulty sticking if underlying demand reality does not match expectations.
China also announced financial stimulus for the real estate sector. This should help to solidify the ore price increases, but the upside is not unlimited.
Sugar prices increased in December as the Brazilian sugarcane season nears completion and the world transitions to exports out of Asia.
Initial data out of India sparked fears of lower sugar production amid disappointing yields. Indian exports are expected be lower compared to last season.
The market is also concerned with the decline in European production amid dry conditions this summer. Sugar production in the EU could fall to 15.2m tonnes from 16.8m a year earlier.
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