Commodity Calls: Week Ending 15 March 2024

Chinese youth scramble for gold beans, Russian oil refineries are hit in drone strikes, and copper touches 11-month highs on supply concerns.

Join Global X each week for ‘Commodity Calls’ to explore all the recent signals and developments that occurred in the world of commodities.

Looking for more? Check out this week’s Market Moves and Thematic Spotlight.



  • Chinese youth are purchasing ‘gold beans’– small gold nuggets weighing as little as one gram – as an investment during China’s economic uncertainty.1 Gold purchasing has picked up steam in China as the country undergoes an era of economic uncertainty and deflation. The beans are considered an entry-point for younger investors with prices starting as low as US$83 per unit.2
  • A report by JPMorgan has ranked gold as its top commodities pick of 2024 with a price target of US$2500 an ounce.3 The price prediction is conditional on a continued slowdown in inflation, and the Federal Reserve following through with promised rate-cuts in the latter half of the year.


  • US CPI came in hotter than expected last week, rising 0.3% month-over-month, and 3.2% year-over-year.4 Higher inflation metrics have further tempered investor expectations of Fed rate-cuts this year. Investors now expect only three rate cuts in 2024, down from seven at the beginning of the year, and in-line with the Fed’s forecast.5
  • Gold ETFs have faced significant outflows over the past few months as investors took profits and pivoted towards equities in search of higher returns.

Explore physical gold with GOLD.

Crude Oil


  • The IEA changed its crude oil outlook for 2024 from supply surplus to supply deficit.6 Traders now expect that global demand for crude will grow by 1.3 million barrels per day this year. OPEC’s forecast for crude oil sees demand growth at 2.2 million barrels a day over the next year, almost double that of the IEA.7
  • Three Russian refineries, accounting for roughly 12% of the country’s oil processing capacity, were destroyed by Ukrainian drone attacks.8 This could potentially increase refinery costs as demand outweighs supply.


  • Nigeria’s oil output has hit 1.47 million barrels per day, its highest in more than three years. This comes after the country’s production hit a decade-low in the second half of 2022 when it dropped below 1 million barrels per day.9
  • Weakening Chinese construction activity has seen a slowing in demand for diesel, and in turn, lower margins for diesel refineries. The aggregate margin across refiners in China have fallen by 50% since 2023.10

Explore crude oil with BCOM.



  • Copper touched an 11-month high of ~US$9000 per metric tonne last week as Chinese copper smelters agreed to curb output in response to a tighter-than-expected raw materials market.11 The agreement comes as too many smelters were competing over a limited supply of copper concentrate, leading to a collapse in smelter revenues.


  • Copper inventories on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) are at their highest since 2020.12 Should the stockpile remain high over the new few weeks, investors may question whether smelters are truly curbing output and if supply concerns have been overblown.

Explore copper with WIRE.


Forecasts are not guaranteed and undue reliance should not be placed on them. This information is based on views held by Global X as at 19/03/2024. Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. Diversification does not ensure a profit nor guarantee against a loss.