Five Key Charts to Watch in Global Commodity Markets This Week

(Bloomberg) — Earnings season is in full swing, with Big Oil firms Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and TotalEnergies SE set to post first-quarter results later this week. Heavy-machinery maker Caterpillar Inc. also reports earnings that could shed light on the strength of the mining and construction industries.

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Here are five notable charts to consider in global commodity markets as the week gets underway.


Big Oil’s production growth will be in the spotlight this quarter, as earnings stabilize and shareholders look for the industry’s next lever to boost cash returns. Adjusted net income for the five supermajors combined is expected to be $28.4 billion for the first quarter, similar to the prior period as higher refining margins offset lower oil prices and earnings from gas trading. Exxon, Chevron and Europe’s TotalEnergies report results Friday, followed by Shell Plc and BP Plc in early May.


Silver has had a strong start this year, rising more than 20% as the white metal follows gold’s rally. Silver’s price has approached levels not seen since retail traders squeezed the market in early 2021 and is within striking distance of $30 an ounce. Record industrial usage, especially from green economy applications such as solar panels, and an ongoing supply deficit should underpin prices going forward, according to the Silver Institute. That may prompt investors to meaningfully return to silver-backed exchange-traded funds, helping push prices even higher.


Despite all the talk about demand for US corn after 2023’s record harvest, all eyes are on the size of the Brazilian crop that’s almost ready to be gathered. Total supply coming out of the world’s largest exporter will directly impact American competitiveness. While the size of Brazilian crop is up for debate — the US Department of Agriculture projects a much bigger harvest than Brazil’s National Supply Company, known as Conab — a robust reaping could help the South American nation hold its ranking as top exporter of the grain.


Europe’s demand for liquefied natural gas, which soared during the energy crisis, will likely peak this year, according to ACER, the bloc’s energy regulator. The message will be a reassuring one for European Union leaders, who were left scrambling to find gas after Russia, the region’s biggest supplier, invaded Ukraine. It also means that the US decision to halt new LNG export projects won’t be as keenly felt as many feared. Now the EU just needs to work out how to stop the last remaining pockets of Russian imports of the liquefied fuel. The European bloc is the biggest importer of LNG.

Mining and Construction

Caterpillar, whose iconic yellow machines are found at mining operations and construction sites around the world, is scheduled to report earnings on Thursday. Investors will be watching for details on orders and inventories from the US bellwether, with metrics that offer insights on the health of industries underpinning the global economy. Of key interest will be how Caterpillar’s dealer sales fare in a cyclical market where demand and economic growth is moderating, and whether North America’s sales strength continues to offset weakness in other regions.

–With assistance from Doug Alexander and Kevin Crowley.

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