Dr. Parik Patel breaks down why commodity prices are ripping


May 6, 2021

This is a guest post from one of Twitter’s most popular finance parody accounts: @ParikPatelCFA (you can read more of his work at Bullish Studios)

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Hey everyone, I’m Dr. Parik Patel, BA, CFA, ACCA, Esq.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a chartered finmeme analyst and twitter’s most qualified FinTwit account.

Anyways, I’ve been told that I have a particular insight into the world of finance, memes and everything in between, so the team at The Hustle asked me to share some of my insights into various topics.

After inaugurating this column with an overview of the various meme coins that have taken the market by storm, I’m back again to talk about what the hell is going on with commodities. So, without further ado, let’s get started …

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Lumber

Source: Twitter

The pencil is mightier than the sword… because it’s made of wood.

This commodity has skyrocketed to new records: the price per thousand board feet of lumber recently hit an all-time high of ~$1,400 (and is up 280% since the start of the pandemic).

The price is being spurred on by strong housing demand met with tightening supply and rising input costs.

Next time it’s your wife’s birthday, forego the gold necklace or diamond earrings and buy her something with real utility. Random length lumber futures.

Crude Oil

If you ever think that you can’t recover from something, remember that WTI crude bounced back from -$37.63 to ~$66 in just over a year.

After tumbling to negative prices in April of last year due to a Saudi-Russia price war and the COVID-19 pandemic, crude has made quite the comeback, and is expected to rise to $77 a barrel in just six months. If you’re looking to buy some, I have seventeen barrels still sitting in my backyard from April. Don’t ask.

Source: Twitter

Palladium

You know how everyone says that cars are a depreciating asset… Well, there’s one part of your car that’s actually appreciated in value.

The catalytic converter. It’s found attached to your vehicle’s tailpipe and contains a precious metal called palladium that has soared to a record high due to expected supply constraints and rebounding demand from automakers.

So, if you’re a car thief and looking for a change of career, consider merely stealing the catalytic converter instead. Choose appreciating assets, not depreciating ones.

Corn

The price of corn was up ~16% in April, the highest one-month price increase since May 2019. Unlike the narrow use case of the previous commodity, corn is an input into basically everything from food production to the energy industry.

One big driver behind the price: China’s massive demand for corn to feed pigs…with the previous season’s herd taken out by the pandemic.

Source: Twitter

Wheat

Stockpile your all-bran… that’s not a cereal, that’s an appreciating asset. Wheat prices have been on a tear lately due to supply constraints arising from drought in the U.S. and wheat producing countries, and record demand from China for food products and animal feed.

People laugh at me because my entire freezer is full of bread, but I’ll have the last laugh when a loaf costs a million dollars.

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