Home Business NewsBusiness Commodity prices soar, more directors leave the boards of London-listed Russian companies

Commodity prices soar, more directors leave the boards of London-listed Russian companies

by LLB Reporter
7th Mar 22 9:53 am

“After a week of businesses around the world cutting ties with Russia in protest at its invasion of Ukraine, the market is now taking a serious look at what would happen if no-one bought the country’s commodities.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “So far there have been no country-level sanctions on Russian commodity products, merely the decision of various customers not to buy. It seems we could be moving to the next stage whereby countries lay down rules to not buy oil and other commodities from Russia which in turn would reduce its funding for the war.

“Russia’s economy is heavily dependent on commodity exports and a decision by the US and potentially some of its European allies to ban the import of Russian oil would disrupt the global flow of certain natural resources and push up prices. The market increasingly seems to think this is a likely outcome, given how Brent Crude soared 9% to $128.76 per barrel on Monday.

“This further surge in fuel costs will intensify the inflationary pressures already causing problems for consumers and businesses.

“If a decision is made by the West to stop buying Russian oil, then it is only natural to expect other commodities to fall under the same category – hence why nickel prices have also spiked, up 26% to $36,263 per tonne. Russia is the third largest producer of nickel after Indonesia and the Philippines.

“It is worth watching the gold price which is now flirting around the $2,000 per ounce level. Should Russia see a slump in income from commodity sales, there is a real chance it could sell down some of its gold reserves to help fund the war in Ukraine. The West may not want to buy Russian gold, but China might be interested if the price was right.

“The FTSE 100 fell by nearly half the level of other markets in Europe on Monday because of its large exposure to commodities producers. While the Dax fell 4.4% and the IBEX 35 dropped 4.3%, the FTSE 100 traded 2.6% lower. Its declines were cushioned by strength in mining and oil producers, including Anglo American which rose 4.3%, Glencore which advanced 4.2%, and Shell which traded 4.7% higher.

“These companies will be able to sell their products at higher prices thanks to the current market dynamics, thus increasing their profits. However, that will only stir up greater calls for a windfall tax on earnings.”

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