As the first half of the year draws to a close, disappointment in the slumping commodities sector grows.
After posting a gain last year for the first time in six years, the Bloomberg Commodity Index BCOM, +0.61% which tracks 22 commodity futures contracts, is down roughly 7.7% year-to-date to stand below the $81 level Wednesday. It finished out 2016 more than 11% higher.
The index “tried to show some life in 2016 only to crap out in 2017 thus far,” said Adam Koos, president of Libertas Wealth Management Group.
“The lows around $82 were an important level of support that had been touched four times in a year,” he said. “Thanks to weak oil prices, that same floor gave way and broke this June.”
Many commodities have continued on the downward paths they were on by the end of the first quarter, with sugar SBV7, +6.27% down about 36% for the year as of Wednesday, iron ore trading 18% lower, and oil CLQ7, +0.02% LCOU7, -0.08% suffering a loss of roughly 16%.
Palladium PAU7, +0.04% meanwhile, held ground as one of the biggest gainers, up about 28% year to date.
Gold GCQ7, +0.10% has also extended it’s climb for the year so far, trading up 8.5%, even after two U.S. interest-rate hikes by the Federal Reserve in 2017. Still, the moderate price climb means that gold no longer ranks among the top 10 best performing major commodities as it did in the year to date through March.
Other gainers included lean hogs LHQ7, +1.86% up 20%, lumber LBU7, +2.92% up 13% and rough rice RRU7, +0.60% which has climbed 22% year to date. Frozen concentrated orange juice OJU7, -3.36% down 29%, natural gas NGQ17, -0.13% with a loss of 16%, and heating oil HOQ7, +0.12% down nearly 17%, were among the commodities posting steep declines.
Here’s a rundown of the influences and outlook for the biggest commodity movers: