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The Three Best Commodity Investments of H1 2012


The best performers thus far in the year have been relatively unpopular futures contracts.

With the first half of the year officially in the books, investors have plenty of data and developments in the commodity world to talk about. With natural gas jolting back and forth and speculators calling tops and bottoms in crude oil and gold, it has certainly been a busy six months for commodity traders. One of the biggest sticking points for commodities was the speculation of QE3, which was eventually announced in the form of "Operation Twist", which will likely shape prices for the latter half of the year. But when it comes to some of the best performers from that time period, some of the results may surprise you. Below, we outline the three best commodity performances from the first half of 2012.

Those expecting to see big name commodities in the following list will be gravely disappointed. In fact, the best performers thus far in the year have been relatively unpopular futures contracts. It simply goes to show you that a broad understanding of the commodity world can often play to your benefit as the most popular contracts are rarely the top performers.

1. Soybean Meal / Soybeans: Soybeans have a fair amount of popularity as trading instruments, but soybean meal contracts are largely overlooked. Save a tough May, soybean meal futures did nothing but gain for the first half of 2012, chalking up gains of nearly 40%. Likewise soybean futures fared quite well, jumping 25.9%.

2. Canola: These futures fall under the grains subsector of the agriculture umbrella. While they are certainly not the best known contracts on the market, they do receive a fair amount of volume from what is likely a niche market. Either way, there is no denying canola's steady charge upward, as it tacked on approximately 21.4% this year.

3. Oats: Another not-so-popular option, oats had an exceptional H1 as well. Oat futures, which are by far the least popular on this list, took a massive hit towards the end of May, surrendering all of their previous gains. But just as June was coming to a close, the futures made an even more impressive leap to finish out the first half of the year with gains of 15.5%.

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Editor's note: This article by Daniela Pylypczak was originally published on Commodity HQ.
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