Guess what, it’s official: 2015 was a terrible year for commodities. Analysis is starting to flow into inboxes of those involved in the business, and all appear to confirm that 2015 was a crushing year for commodities, with little joy forecast for this year. The Bloomberg Commodity Index (BCOM), a measure of investor returns in raw materials, tumbled 25% in 2015, a fifth straight annual loss and the longest slide since the data began in 1991. Cotton was the only gainer out of 22 individual commodity indices for the year. Crude oil was the worst performer, tumbling 45% on a supply glut. Copper, aluminum, zinc, and nickel capped annual losses, with nickel dropping 43%, the worst performer in the Bloomberg Industrial Metals Index (BCOMIN). Citi strategist David Wilson said that a “significant proportion” of refined nickel drawn into China throughout 2015 could have been used to meet growing financing demand for nickel, rather than real end-use demand. In the year to November, China imported around 258,000 mt of refined nickel and 626,000 mt (gross tonnes) of ferronickel, volumes being up 108% and 146% on the year, respectively, “levels not consistent with the negative stainless melt rate growth trends seen within China last year.” Nickel
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Source: CTRM Center