The Era of Uncertainty

Things are always uncertain to some extent – especially in the commodities world where unexpected outages, industrial action, accidents and so forth can disrupt supply chains. These days however, it seems that uncertainty is the norm. Tariffs, threats of tariffs, sanctions on individuals and countries, BREXIT and political chaos have risen geopolitical risk to the forefront in recent months and years. The well documented issues around Rusal are just the tip of the iceberg and increasingly, the commodities media is beginning to focus on this unprecedented uncertainty. It must be giving some traders a right royal headache! As I write up the disruptive technology report, I am also struck by all the other significant changes happening in the industry from renewables to regulations. Not to mention technology shifts. Of course, all of this uncertainty and change can disrupt and create issues for some but it is also an opportunity for others. The Reuters story yesterday demonstrates how the Rusal fiasco has created profit and opportunity for some. “Surging volumes and volatility in industrial metals so far this year, largely due to U.S. sanctions slapped on Russian aluminum producer Rusal, have been a major money-spinner for several brokers and banks after… continue reading

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