Commodity Calls: Week Ending 17 May 2024

US slams ban on Russian uranium, rising rate-cut sentiment buoys crude oil price, and copper experiences the short squeeze of a lifetime.

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  • The US’s ban on Russian fuel-grade uranium was signed into law by President Biden last week.1 The ban on imports of enriched uranium will begin in three months – after which the only way for domestic buyers to access Russian uranium is if the US Department of Energy issues a waiver in the case of a supply crisis.
  • The new US law also provides US$2.7 billion in funding, which will be used to stimulate the domestic uranium fuel industry.2
  • According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), US Q1 uranium production was at its highest in more than five years. Miners extracted 32.1 tonnes of raw uranium in the period, which is more than 80% of the total US production for 2023.3


  • The state of Georgia’s new Vogtle nuclear reactor which opened this month will be the US’s last new nuclear power plant for the foreseeable future.4 There is currently no new construction on the books. 13 more nuclear plants are being proposed in the US, none of which have entered the planning or construction stages.5

Explore uranium with ATOM.



  • A short squeeze on the New York futures market helped push copper prices above US$11,000 to its highest price ever.6 As speculators rushed to the metal, short traders were caught flat footed as the premium on New York copper futures to London Metals Exchange price surged to US$1,200 per tonne, marking an unprecedent disconnect in pricing.7
  • Cooling US inflation and poor retail sales have lent more optimism to the potential for the Fed to cut interest rates in the near term.8 April CPI print came in at 0.3% against market expectations of 0.4%, marking the first-time inflation has cooled in six months.9 Retail sales growth was flat for the month, signalling low consumer confidence. Rate cuts tend to stimulate the economy, and copper prices have historically outperformed in periods of strong economic growth.


  • S&P Global has improved its long-term outlook for copper prices, however, views the metal as overvalued in the short term.10 Analysts at the firm expect global smelter production to outpace concentrate production through 2027, which may support supplies for up to two years.11

Explore copper with WIRE.

Crude Oil


  • Cooling US inflation and poor retail sales have lent more optimism to the potential for the Fed to cut interest rates in the near term.12 Rate cuts have historically stimulated the economy, and a stronger economy tends to consume more oil.


  • Chinese oil refiners processed less crude than expected in April, falling almost 4% YoY to 14.3 million bpd.13 Consequently, Chinese apparent oil demand (estimated demand) also fell YoY, for the first time since 2022.14
  • A recent report has revealed multiple countries in the European Union have been circumnavigating EU/G7 oil sanctions by importing Russian oil products through Turkish ports.15 In the report, analysts estimate roughly €3 billion worth of oil products have traded hands since the passing of the sanction through this loophole.16

Explore crude oil with BCOM.


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 21/05/2024. Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. Diversification does not ensure a profit nor guarantee against a loss.

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This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. This information is not intended to be individual or personalised investment or tax advice and should not be used for trading purposes. Please consult a financial advisor or tax professional for more information regarding your investment and/or tax situation.