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CRU Group: Where Macroeconomics Meet Commodities

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CRU Group: 50 years of Commodity Research

The following content is sponsored by CRU Group.

CRU Group

CRU Group: Where Macroeconomics Meet Commodities

Commodities are crucial to our everyday lives. From the homes we live in, to the energy we use and the food we eat—none of these would be possible without commodities.

Today’s infographic from CRU Group celebrates 50 years of commodities research and charts the prices of the materials that make our world work.

The Importance of Commodities

CRU Group has 50 years of experience in providing business intelligence on the global metals, mining, and fertilizer industries. Regularly analyzing over 50 commodities, here are CRU’s highlights on four key commodities: aluminium, copper, steel, and nitrogen.

Similarly to stocks, commodities are available for sale on the open market, and prices are susceptible to changing economic conditions.

Factors Affecting Commodity Markets

CRU Group has identified five key factors that are currently affecting commodity markets.

  1. China Stimulus: China’s economy has recently slowed and policy makers are using stimulus to support sustainable economic growth. However, the delivery of stimulus is different from the past, moving away from infrastructure investment and towards tax cuts for businesses and households.
  2. Recession: Some analysts have been warning of a recession since 2018. When the economy is in decline, commodity sectors feel the downturn more acutely, because industrial production tends to slow down and there is less demand for materials.
  3. Automotive Tariffs: During 2019, there was a sharp contraction in automotive sales and production, due to the threat of U.S. auto tariffs. However, the main driver is stricter auto emissions standards introduced in Europe and Asia, creating uncertainty for consumers.
  4. Environment: Governments continue to adopt regulations in response to rising environmental concerns. Green policies will encourage investment in renewable energy infrastructure and electric vehicles, changing the type of minerals required for these technologies.
  5. Rise of Asia: By 2035, 3.5 billion people will be living in Asian cities, an increase of 47% from today. These growing cities will necessitate large-scale infrastructure projects, which consume vast amounts of resources.
  6. These five factors will drive the economic patterns of key commodities into the future.

    Commodities Spotlight

    CRU Group has been providing business intelligence on the global metals, mining and fertilizers industries for over 50 years. Regularly analyzing over 50 commodities, CRU highlights four key commodities here:

    Aluminium

    Aluminium is one of the most in-demand metals in the world by volume, second only to steel. Its lightweight, reflective, ductile and anti-corrosion properties make it the metal of choice for a range of applications. It takes four to five tonnes of bauxite ore to produce one tonne of aluminium.

    Copper

    Copper plays a huge role in the transition to clean energy. It is a good conductor of heat and electricity, and is also ductile and recyclable. These properties make it a crucial material in electric vehicles and renewable energy infrastructure, as well as electronic goods and construction.

    In the past 5,000 years, 550 million tonnes of copper has been produced. To keep up with demand, the world will need the same amount in the next 24 years.

    Steel

    Steel is lightweight, flexible, tensile, and recyclable. Its versatility and cost-saving benefits make it a preferred material within the construction sector. Demand for steel across various sectors signals growth and is a good indicator of the health of the general economy.

    China is responsible for 51% of the world’s steel production, and accounts for 49% of its demand.

    Nitrogen

    Nitrogen is an odorless, colorless gas that makes up 78% of the earth’s atmosphere by volume. Industrial processes capture ammonia from the air and convert it to other nitrogen compounds. Urea is the most common, and is primarily used as fertilizer. The global nitrogen market is worth $62.8 billion.

    Where Next?

    How CRU Navigates Complex Commodity Markets

    Commodity prices have many different drivers, from supply and demand dynamics to exchange rate movements. Volatility is a common feature to all these commodities and up-to-date pricing and information is critical.

    CRU commodity specialists disentangle these forces to interpret and forecast price movements. They apply a range of modelling techniques, as well as their experience and expert judgement.

    For 50 years, CRU Group has tracked the commodities that drive the modern world, bringing macroeconomic insights to investors for accurate pricing—and will continue to do so for the next 50 years.

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Unlocking Earth’s Treasures with Mineral Exploration

There are untold treasures in the Earth’s surface waiting for discovery. Skeena Resources is opening the vault in the Golden Triangle at Eskay Creek.

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Natural Wealth

Unlocking Earth’s Treasures with Mineral Exploration

There are untold treasures of gold, silver, copper, and much more that lie beneath the Earth’s surface, awaiting discovery—and it takes mineral exploration and the right team to unlock this hidden wealth from the depths.

Mining exploration company Skeena Resources is opening the vault to the treasures of British Columbia’s Golden Triangle at the famous Eskay Creek property.

Following in footsteps of other successful mineral exploration efforts, Skeena is proving there is more value to unlock at Eskay Creek. The Golden Triangle is already home to some of the most productive mines in the world.

Keys to the Vault: Turning Discoveries into Resources

A mineral exploration company such as Skeena conducts geological studies to turn a discovery into a mineable resource. As each mineral deposit becomes better understood, new value is unlocked and its economic value increases.

The mining industry uses three resource classifications for a mineral discovery, based on the amount and proximity of drill holes.

  1. Inferred
  2. Indicated
  3. Measured

Each one of these categories represent the confidence with which an economic source of minerals exists. The “Inferred” classification is the lowest level of confidence that a certain amount of ore exists in a location while “Measured” is the highest.

Companies drill holes and pull out small samples of the ground in order to discover and measure the continuity and grade of a mineral occurrence. The results of drilling provide more and more data for improving the understanding of a deposit. Each study eventually cuts the key to unlock the treasure below.

Grade is King: The Higher the Grade, The Lower the Costs

In order for a mineral deposit to be valuable it must pass the grade. The amount of the sought-after mineral within a particular amount of rock is known as the ore grade. Typically, the higher the ore grade, the more profitable a mine can be.

Skeena Resource’s Eskay Creek has a grade of 4.3 grams per tonne ‘g/t’, making it 3x higher than the global average grade of open pit mining projects. This could potentially make it all the more unique and valuable to investors.

Unlocking the Vault

Gold’s value is in part due to its rarity. The precious metal cannot be artificially produced and is only found deep inside the vault that is the Earth’s crust. This makes mineral exploration an extremely rewarding business if a discovery is made.

In terms of statistics, the odds are 1 in 10,000 that greenfield exploration produces a profitable mine—and odds are even more remote for a mineral occurrence to become a world-class mine. Further, if a gold deposit is actually found, there is only a 10% chance it will have enough gold justify further development.

Through targeted mineral exploration, Skeena Resources is proving there is more golden treasure to uncover at the legendary Eskay Creek.

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How Hospital Bottlenecks Cause A Healthcare Gridlock

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How Hospital Bottlenecks Cause A Healthcare Gridlock

The healthcare industry is complex and interdependent. Much like a highway interchange, it relies on multiple players and processes to flow smoothly.

But just like in an interchange, a single roadblock can bring the system to a grinding halt—leading to serious consequences for all involved.

The Healthcare Silos

In healthcare, there are three primary players, each with their own priorities. However, they stay in their own lane and rely on independent software systems to achieve their goals.

Healthcare playerMain prioritySystem used
PatientsSeek an engaged and personalized experienceDigital technologies
- Example: mobile health, wearables
- Provide constant monitoring and instantaneous updates
Providers (Doctors, nurses, and more)Provide the highest quality of careElectronic health records
- A comprehensive record of a patient’s medical history
Payers (Insurance companies)Balance the cost and quality of careClaims database
- Information on medical appointments, bills, and more (some claims can take 60 days to process)

This leads to frustrations for all parties, including poor communication and uncoordinated care.

A Not-So-Patient Journey

What factors lead to a less-than-desirable experience? Challenges arise from the moment a patient walks into a hospital

  1. Entering the Emergency Department (ED)
    Overcrowded EDs are often the first point of contact for a patient. On average, 43.3 per 100 people visit the emergency department annually in the United States for everything from fevers to injuries. Of these, 6 out of 10 must wait longer than 15 minutes before they can be seen by a provider.
  2. Playing the Waiting Game
    Patients are willing to endure up to 2 hours in the emergency department, but wait times often surpass that. The average wait time in 2017 was upwards of 352 minutes, or almost six hours. As a result, up to 9% of patients leave without being seen (LWBS).

There’s simple psychology behind why some people aren’t able to wait it out. According to former Harvard professor David Maister, unoccupied time that is compounded with anxiety makes a wait feel longer.

These long waits also affect a patient’s perception and satisfaction of the care they eventually do receive.

The True Cost

After they’re admitted, inconsistent processes and flows continue to plague patient experiences.

A typical hospital stay can rack up a single patient close to $12,000 across 4.6 days. With these costs climbing every year, uncoordinated care adds to these receipts by extending the stay.

Uncoordinated care also creates a dire strain on resources, including the humans behind all the work. The resulting physician burnout costs the U.S. health system $32 billion annually. While lost productivity causes over half ($18 billion) of this amount, another $8.5 billion is due to poor experiences, which impacts patient satisfaction which leads to falling margins for hospitals.

Severe bottlenecks compound these issues, forcing the healthcare system into a gridlock.

What’s Causing the Jam?

Disjointed communication and a lack of visibility across systems are the major reasons for these costly standstills. This is analogous to using a paper map to navigate:

  • No updates based on the current situation
  • Time-consuming to figure out specific route to a destination
  • Show multiple routes, but not the fastest way to get there

What if there was a smart GPS to help the healthcare industry overcome roadblocks?

  • Real-time, dynamic updates on the current situation
  • Knows where you are, and where you need to go
  • Filters only the appropriate and relevant information

The Leidos careC2 Command Center solves healthcare traffic jams.

The coordinated technology suite rapidly identifies and reduces bottlenecks and delays in the care process. This improves the operational flow of hospitals—so that patients, providers, and payers all reach their destinations safely and efficiently.

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