Insight: Steel, aluminum and coal reveal a “Trump premium”

Almost two years since it began, what has been the impact of the administration of US President Donald Trump on commodity prices? Joe Innace takes a look If higher commodity prices reflect US presidential campaign promises kept, then President Donald Trump has already delivered on three fronts as he approaches two years in office. The president campaigned hard on promises to help directly the US coal and steel industries and American manufacturing. It worked. Trump won key steelmaking, mining and manufacturing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin. It took a good year or so for Trump to settle in. Until November last year, most commodity prices had struggled to see their averages match, or surpass, the levels on the last day President Barack Obama held office. But with the passage of US tax reform legislation, an “America First” trade agenda in place and on full global display, manufacturing expanded and the domestic economy saw 4.2% GDP growth in the second quarter of 2018. In turn, this created more demand for energy commodities. A group of 13 commodity benchmarks has been used by S&P Global Platts to track pricing performance during Trump’s term versus Obama’s eight years… continue reading

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