Inflation eats away at the purchasing power of money. Commodities are the raw materials that people around the world consume daily. Energy powers our lives. Agricultural commodities provide nutrition and often provide clothes and even energy via biofuels. Industrial commodities are the building blocks of infrastructure that shelter people. The US dollar is the world’s reserve currency and the benchmark pricing mechanism for virtually all commodities.
The global pandemic has caused more than a few dislocations in markets over the past months. It sent the price of WTI crude oil futures below zero for the first time in history as demand for the energy commodity evaporated and storage capacity disappeared. Animal protein prices fell to the lowest level in years for producers but rose for consumers as processing plants shut or slowed production. Supplies tightened while ranchers were left holding inventories of animals that typically went to processors.