Commodity Management Blog

Innovative Ideas and Thought Leadership for Volatile Commodity Marketplace

Shipping has been an important part of history dating back to the Egyptian coastal sailships of 3200 B.C., predominantly in areas where prosperity has depended primarily on international and interregional trade.  The maritime shipping industry is responsible for moving over approximately 90% of the world’s traded goods.  Entire countries down to your local mom-and-pop stores rely heavily on the success of this industry.

With that said, the shipping industry is currently battling some very strong headwinds due to soaring bunker costs and sinking freight prices, among other things.

Today, we have seen bunker costs represent more than 50% of total…

It should come as no surprise that the commodity industry is predicting a continuation of 2012’s market volatility and slow economic growth for the balance of 2013.  Regional economies that were thought to be in recovery are now slipping back into recession. Major commodity price fluctuations are expected to persist, and global demand for oil is expected to rise only 0.8% to 90.4 million barrels per day this year.  Volatility will continue to be influenced by the euro-zone debt crisis, fluctuating demand in Asia, and continued political unrest in the Middle East.

Commodity-consuming companies are challenged to respond to this…

The energy industry and its associated supply chains are fast-changing and very complex. Just a few years back, several companies built LNG import terminals to meet the energy needs of the U.S. 

According to a NY Times article “the billion-dollar terminals were obsolete even before the concrete was dry as an unexpected drilling boom in new shale fields from Pennsylvania to Texas produced a glut of cheap domestic natural gas. Now, the same companies that had such high hopes for imports are proposing to salvage those white elephants by spending billions more to convert them into…

The gas in our cars, cleaning chemicals in our cabinets, and reusable cups from which we drink our coffee or tea all have ties to the crude oil industry. As feedstock for a wide array of goods, crude oil and crude products are among the most widely traded commodities in the world. The market attracts diverse participants; however, many of the challenges faced are universal.

CommodityPoint’s latest white paper, “Global Oil Markets- Increasing Uncertainty and Risk,” highlights several of these challenges and concludes that now is the time to invest in an advanced energy trading and risk management (ETRM)…

I’m excited to share the news that Triple Point has acquired WAM Systems, the premier provider of supply chain planning and optimization solutions for the process industry.

WAM has an impressive presence in the chemical industry, and its solutions are also beginning to see adoption within other process industry segments including oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, CPG, and food and beverage. WAM’s worldwide customer base includes leading companies such as PTT Global Chemical, Saudi Aramco, Celanese Chemicals, LyondellBasell, Honam Petrochemical, Indian Oil, PetroChina, Sasol Oil, and Solvay.

Like Triple Point’s previous acquisitions, the WAM acquisition furthers Triple Point’s commitment to having…

Uncertainty looms large in the European Gas and Power markets. What could cause the next big shock? Are you confident you are prepared for the next crisis? Policy developments and structural changes, such as the Electricity Market Reform (EMR) initiative in the UK, may drive extreme price volatility and uncertainty.

Triple Point recently hosted a webinar on
How to Survive and Thrive in Volatile European Gas and Power Markets.  One of Baringa’s European Energy Market experts, Nick Tallantyre, shared the key issues driving volatility in the European Gas and Power Markets –– and…

In less than a decade the price of iron ore has risen tenfold, with China’s economic boom leading the increase in global demand.  However, last week iron ore prices hit their lowest level since November 2009; the commodity crashed 4.6%, closing at $94 from a 2012 peak of $149.

With several recent reports of profit slumps, the world’s largest mining companies are starting to struggle in this environment. According to Platts, most market participants remain bearish in their expectations for the iron ore market, with predictions that prices might extend their losing streak until next week and beyond.

Organisations that…

The US Midwest is suffering its worst drought in decades.  The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently dropped its corn yield forecast from 166 bushels per acre, made earlier this year, to 123 bushels per acre.  The expected shortage of corn is causing prices to surge.

Corn has multiple uses – it is used as fuel (ethanol), animal feed, or directly as food.  Roughly 40% of US corn production goes towards ethanol, 36% towards feed, and the rest towards food.

There are several concerned groups that believe the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should relax the ethanol requirement under the Federal…

In just a few years, mobile technology has reshaped the landscape for businesses everywhere. The growing presence of smartphones and tablet devices in the workplace has forced companies to take a sharper look at the benefits mobile applications offer.

Previously, it was impossible for certain jobs to be performed away from a workstation. The mobile revolution has changed those rules. With the arrival of powerful mobile devices and sophisticated mobile applications, it is now possible for employees to perform tasks, previously restricted to their desktops, from any location at any time. And therein lies the value that mobile technology can…

There have been several recent announcements from Delta Airlines related to jet fuel and oil trading.

According to Reuters, Delta Air Lines Inc. reported a second quarter loss because it took $561 million in charges for fuel hedges.  Part of the loss was taken for mark-to-market adjustments on open hedge contracts.

It appears that Delta has chosen not to apply FAS commodity hedge accounting treatment.  Many of the news reports called these derivative purchases “bets” when in fact they are hedges that reduce risk.

If Delta used hedge accounting it would match the loss of open fuel derivative contracts against…

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