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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
These five factors will drive the economic patterns of key commodities into the future.
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 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 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 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 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.
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.
Expanding the Cannabis Consumer Base with Odourless Products
This infographic explores the stigma that surrounds cannabis consumption, and a new technology that could provide a promising solution.
Expanding the Cannabis Consumer Base
The prohibition of cannabis is lifting around the world, and millions of consumers are pushing the market to exceed $75 billion by 2025, from $13 billion in 2019.
As awareness grows, more information about the health benefits of cannabis drives consumer interest, but there’s one problem. The smell of cannabis products—particularly when smoking flower—deters both current and potential cannabis consumers.
Today’s graphic from CannabCo explores the social stigma that clouds the cannabis industry and introduces a new technology that could provide a disruptive solution.
The Pressures of Social Stigma
The lingering stigma that surrounds cannabis consumption has existed for decades, limiting the number of recreational and medical users.
Although numerous dimensions of this stigma exists, two of them are particularly prominent and damaging to consumers:
- Cannabis is addictive: Being negatively labelled as a drug addict, stoner, or “pothead”, personas which are associated with criminal activity.
- Cannabis is an identity: Smokers have difficulty concealing their consumption, as the smell can cling to the user and become part of their identity.
This intrusive and long-lasting odour is a distinctive and often unwanted aspect of smoking cannabis. Despite great strides being made to change perceptions about the industry, the odour continues to fuel the stigma.
Where Does the Smell Come From?
The odour comes from chemicals found in the plant, known as terpenes. They produce aromatic oils that give cannabis strains a unique scent—such as lemon, pine, or even coffee—and have been used for thousands of years in traditional herb-based medicine.
Terpenes and cannabinoids work together to multiply the plant’s medicinal properties, in a process known as the entourage effect. Of course, this is a double-edged sword, as new users are attracted to the medicinal benefits of cannabis, but are deterred by the smell, harsh burn, headaches, and coughing that comes with inhaling it.
The Path to a Cleaner Cannabis
Aside from the pain points that arise from smoking, there is also a need to combat the smell of cannabis products when they are stored. Therefore, an odourless cannabis could potentially reach an entirely new group of consumers who are deterred by the smell, and provide peace of mind for existing consumers.
CannabCo has developed a breakthrough technology, called PURECANN™, which creates a purer form of cannabis by eliminating the smell and harshness. It also creates a wealth of associated benefits:
- Virtually undetectable odour of stored dry product.
- Undetectable odour while smoking in public.
- No third-party gadgets or devices required by the user.
- Less residual “day-after effect” associated with smoking cannabis.
The unique technology removes the plant’s aroma, without compromising any of its medical properties. Moreover, it also benefits non-smokers who do not want to smell second-hand smoke.
Opening the Floodgates
While smoking cannabis is not something to be ashamed of, the PURECANN™ technology can provide users with the option of smoking more discreetly.
CannabCo dedicates itself to using new technologies to enhance the way people consume cannabis, and its most recent creation has enormous potential.
By providing a cleaner product, the cannabis experience could become more tolerable and accessible. As a result, the heavily stigmatized industry could drastically transform—and convince millions of new consumers to take notice.
Gold in the Abitibi: The Chimo Mine Project
Cartier Resources (TSX-V: ECR) is advancing the Chimo Mine Gold Project in the Abitibi region of Quebec, showing its potential with past producing mines.
Gold in the Abitibi: Cartier Resources Chimo Mine Project
Cartier Resources (TSX-V: ECR) is deploying the right strategy in the right region, with the right backers to find gold faster at a lower cost.
Proven Endowment: The Abitibi Greenstone Belt
There are many prolific past-producing gold districts in Canada, but the Abitibi is one of the largest and best understood gold-bearing regions with readily available exploration infrastructure.
This region extends from Wawa in Northwestern Ontario to the east near Val-d’Or Quebec – a landscape that hosts some of the most productive gold mines in Canada.
The company’s Chimo gold mine project located in the historic Abitibi Greenstone belt of Quebec builds on a legacy of gold production with a project ready for investors.
The best place to find gold is where companies discovered and mined it in the past. Between 1964 and 1997, three companies produced 379,012 ounces of gold at the Chimo Mine property.
This type of strategy is known as brownfield exploration. Brownfield exploration looks for gold in areas known to host gold mineralization. It offers investors less risk, reducing the amount of uncertainties a company faces.
Ounces in the Ground: 2019 Resource Estimate
The company delivered within three years its first-ever resource estimate and proved the value its Chimo Mine Project. In November 2019, Cartier published its first mineral resource estimate of the central gold corridor on the Chimo mine property:
Measured Resources: 481,280 ounces of gold
Inferred Resources: 417,250 ounces of gold
Cartier has proven a resource in one third of the Chimo property, and there is the north and south gold corridor which it is currently drilling.
Cartier Resources has built on the foundations of a proven past producer with a new resource estimate, to put the Chimo Mine project back on the Abitibi gold map.
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