Invesco DB Agriculture (DBA) ETF: Food Prices Surge

Flag of Ukraine is blue-yellow lying on ripe wheat. Yellow wheat field in Ukraine. Independence Day of Ukraine, flag day.

Anna Koberska/iStock by way of Getty Images

Energy could energy the world, however meals gives the vitamin that sustains life. Increasing vitality demand within the wake of the pandemic, a shift in US vitality coverage, the struggle in Ukraine, and sanctions on Russia have created an nearly good bullish storm in conventional fossil gas costs. Over the previous months, coal costs have soared to a file excessive, and oil and gasoline costs to multi-year peaks. At the top of final week, thermal coal for supply in Rotterdam was buying and selling on the $295 per ton stage. Before October 2021, the all-time excessive was $224. In March 2022, the value spiked increased to the $465 stage.

Crude oil costs at over $100 per barrel are on the highest stage since 2014. In March, costs soared to over $130 per barrel, the best stage since 2008. At over $7 per MMBtu, pure gasoline is on the highest worth in April in fourteen years. Higher vitality costs improve the manufacturing prices for a lot of different commodities, and agricultural merchandise aren’t any exception. Moreover, agricultural commodity costs have soared to multi-year highs because the struggle in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia create a potent bullish cocktail for the merchandise that feed the world because the planting season within the Northern Hemisphere is now underway.

Each yr, the climate throughout the fertile rising areas determines the trail of least resistance for grain and oilseed costs. In April 2022, agricultural merchandise have much more to fret about than Mother Nature. The Invesco DB Agricultural ETF product (NYSEARCA:DBA) holds lengthy positions within the main agricultural merchandise.

The Latest April WASDE Report Takes A Backseat To The Geopolitical Landscape

On April 8, the USDA launched its month-to-month World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates Report on April 8 initially of the 2022 planting season within the northern hemisphere. The USDA certified the report, writing:

Qualifying note on the fundamental agricultural data

Note for the USDA qualifying the April WASDE Report (USDA)

The month-to-month WASDE report is the gold normal for provide and demand information for agricultural producers and customers. The struggle in Ukraine has extreme ramifications for the commodities that feed the world, as Ukraine and Russia are Europe’s breadbasket. Moreover, Russia is a number one fertilizer producer and exporter, impacting farmers worldwide. The complete April WASDE report is offered by means of this hyperlink.

I reached out to Sal Gilberte, the founding father of the Teucrium household of grain and oilseed ETF merchandise, together with the WEAT, CORN, and SOYB ETFs. Sal instructed me:

The April WASDE just about got here in as anticipated confirming tightening world grain provides and far of the anticipated decline in South American soybean crops. At this level it will appear markets have turn out to be accustomed to increased volatility and costs because it awaits readability on the true dimension of the Southern Hemisphere’s soybean harvest in addition to planting progress throughout your complete Northern Hemisphere, together with the spring planting (or not) of corn in Ukraine. Markets will digest data in response to the agricultural calendar from this level ahead, with uncertainty being the one certainty for at the least the subsequent six months. Things to observe carefully by means of mid-summer are the soybean harvest in South America, planting progress throughout the US, Europe, and Russia, the summer time wheat harvest (of maturing winter wheat) in Russia and presumably Ukraine, and the upcoming May WADE report that may give a primary glimpse into the 22/23 rising season.

The backside line is that geopolitical dynamics are trumping the climate for the commodities that feed the world in 2022.

Wheat Rose To A Record High In March

CBOT tender purple winter wheat is the worldwide benchmark for the first ingredient in bread.

Elevated wheat prices over the past months

Quarterly CBOT Wheat Chart (CQG)

The chart reveals the close by CBOT wheat futures worth rose to $13.40 per bushel in March, eclipsing the 2008 all-time excessive at $13.3450.

Many US bread producers worth their necessities utilizing the KCBT wheat futures contract. The long-term norm for the value relationship between KCBT laborious purple and CBOT tender purple winter wheat is a 20-30 cents premium for the KCBT wheat. Over the previous years, as customers bought necessities on a hand-to-mouth foundation, forgoing hedging, the CBOT wheat futures moved to a constant premium to the KCBT wheat.

KCBT wheat spread

CBOT-KCBT Wheat Spread (Barchart)

The chart of CBOT July futures minus KCBT July futures reveals the laborious purple winter wheat moved to a 57.5 cents premium to CBOT wheat as of April 14. The transfer comes as customers have elevated their hedging exercise due to considerations over rising wheat costs.

Wheat is a essential supply of vitamin, and the best costs in historical past in March and potential shortages will improve inflation within the West and trigger famine in components of the world. Nearby CBOT wheat futures have been across the $11 per bushel stage on April 14.

Corn And Beans Are Near All-Time Peaks

Corn and soybeans present vitamin, however they’re additionally vitality commodities as biofuel inputs. Corn is the first ingredient in US ethanol manufacturing, whereas soybean oil is required for biodiesel.

CBOT corn futures ETF

Quarterly CBOT Corn Futures Chart (CQG)

At $7.90 per bushel on the finish of final week, close by corn futures will not be far under the 2012 all-time excessive of $8.4375 per bushel. Rising ethanol demand with oil and gasoline at multi-year highs solely will increase corn demand in 2022.

Soybean futures are going into the 2022 crop year near an all-time high

Quarterly Chart of CBOT Soybean Futures (CQG)

Nearby soybean futures traded to a excessive of $17.65 per bushel in Q1, solely 29.75 cents under the 2012 all-time excessive of $17.9475. At $16.80 per bushel on April 14, the beans stay in a bull market.

Processors crush soybeans into meal and oil. The crush unfold displays the demand for the merchandise and gives clues about elementary provide and demand dynamics.

High crush spread levels tend to signify robust demand for soybean products and translate to higher soybean prices

Quarterly Soybean Crush Spread (CQG)

The chart of the May crush unfold reveals at $2 per bushel; it’s near an all-time excessive. Since April 2021, soybean merchandise have outperformed the uncooked oilseeds, signifying the demand for merchandise that interprets to help for bean futures.

The Four Reasons To Expect Increasing Agricultural Prices Over The Coming Months And Years

Wheat, corn, and beans are heading into the 2022 rising season on the highest costs in years, if not historical past. Four components ought to proceed to maintain the grain and oilseed bull charging increased over the approaching weeks and months:

  • South American crops have been under bumper ranges, weighing on world provides. Supply chain bottlenecks proceed to plague the grain markets.
  • Inflation continues to push enter costs increased. March CPI rose 8.5%, and PPI was 11.2% increased on a year-on-year foundation. Energy costs and labor and financing prices have soared, placing upward stress on costs.
  • Fertilizer costs have exploded, and availability is problematic as Russia “temporarily” banned exports to “unfriendly” nations, together with the US and Europe.
  • Ukraine and Russia are Europe’s breadbasket. Fertile soil has turn out to be mine and battlefields. Moreover, the Black Sea ports are a struggle zone, which can impede exports. Russia and Ukraine export one-third of the world’s annual wheat provides and are main corn, barley, and different agricultural product exporters.

Each yr is at all times a brand new journey within the grain and oilseeds markets, with Mother Nature and her climate the first determinate of the trail of least resistance of costs. In 2022, Mother Nature is taking a backseat to the geopolitical turmoil. Meanwhile, as the worldwide inhabitants will increase by roughly twenty million every quarter, the world would require extra agricultural merchandise in 2022 than in 2021. Rising demand and the potential for provide shortfalls create a potent bullish cocktail for the commodities that feed the world.

The DBA Is A Highly Liquid ETF Product

The most direct route for a danger place for the highest grain and oilseed markets is by way of the CME’s CBOT division futures and futures choices contracts on corn, wheat, and soybeans. The Teucrium CORN, WEAT, and SOYB ETFs do a wonderful job monitoring the person futures markets.

Market individuals on the lookout for a portfolio method to agricultural commodities ought to take into account the Invesco DB Agricultural ETF product (DBA). DBA’s high holdings embody:

Top Ten holdings of DBA ETF

Top Ten Holdings of the DBA ETF Product (Barchart)

As the chart reveals, DBA has a 44.15% publicity to corn, soybeans, CBOT, and KCBT wheat futures, with lengthy positions in different essential agricultural merchandise.

At $22.57 per share, DBA had $2.154 billion in property below administration and trades a median of over 3.36 million shares every day. DBA prices a 0.93% administration payment.

Bullish trend in the DBA ETF product

Chart of the Price Action within the DBA ETF product (Barchart)

The chart highlights the rise within the DBA ETF from $19.75 on the finish of 2021 to $22.57 per share on April 14. The 14.3% acquire in 2022 could be the starting for the ETF as beans might head out of the teenagers on the upside, wheat might proceed to make new file highs, and corn might head for $10 per bushel or increased within the present setting.

The April WASDE report was a sideshow as the principle occasion for agricultural commodities is transpiring in Ukraine. The state of affairs appears to be like like it should worsen over the approaching months, corresponding with the rising season for the crops that feed the world.

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