(Bloomberg) -- As mining enthusiasts converge on Toronto for one of the industry’s biggest global gatherings, lithium and uranium companies will vie for investors’ attention. US natural gas gets a boost to help reverse its losing streak. Oil spreads are rallying. And renewable jet fuel is set to take off.

Meanwhile, agriculture traders will be focused on the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report for clues about the US planting season and the state of international crops.

Here are five notable charts to consider in global commodity markets as the week gets underway.


Lithium and uranium — two metals touted for their role in the energy transition — will be spotlighted at this week’s Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada annual gathering. Lithium’s shine has faded after hitting record highs in November 2022, with demand for the key electric-vehicle battery ingredient slowing amid fears of a supply glut. Radioactive uranium has emerged as the next hot metal, with prices soaring amid concern of demand shortfalls for the nuclear power plant fuel. Investors can hear the case for both during PDAC, which runs through Wednesday.



Grains traders may be wondering whether a bottom is in for prices, with corn and soybean futures trading near the lows from 2020. Ample supplies and lackluster demand, particularly for soybeans, have weighed heavily on investor sentiment, with hedge funds turning the most bearish on grains — including corn — since at least 2006. Traders will await the US Department of Agriculture’s monthly WASDE report on Friday for the latest assessment of domestic and foreign markets.


Jet Fuel

US production of sustainable aviation fuel — or SAF — is on track to reach almost 3 billion gallons a year by 2030, according to BloombergNEF, putting it just shy of President Joe Biden’s target of “at least” that amount. Tax credits from his landmark Inflation Reduction Act are driving a flood of investment into the market and bringing more projects online. The fuel, which is made from waste oils or agricultural feedstock, is seen as the one of the most powerful emissions-reduction tool for airlines. Bloomberg Intelligence estimates that SAF capacity will need to increase 30% annually for decades in order for carriers to meet their zero-carbon targets.


Oil Spreads 

A sharp rally in oil spreads, typically seen as a sign of improving supply-and-demand conditions, largely reflects traders hedging on the chance that prices surge because of any escalation in Red Sea attacks.

So-called prompt spreads — the premium that the most immediate crude futures contract commands over the next one — for Brent and West Texas Intermediate rallied last week to near the widest backwardation in about four months, excluding contract expiry anomalies. There are also signs of strength in underlying physical crude markets amid supply disruptions in the North Sea and Libya as well as buying from a massive new Nigerian refinery and strong demand for US exports.

Still, with much of the explanation for the rally in spreads stemming from disruption to oil flows through the Red Sea, rather than outright supply loss, traders are wary of over-interpreting the latest move up.


Natural Gas

US natural gas futures rose as much as 8.1% on Monday after the nation’s largest producer, EQT Corp., said it will slash output after an unseasonably warm winter and supply glut triggered a price collapse. The turnabout in prices comes the gas contract posted its fourth straight monthly loss in February, the longest streak of monthly declines since June 2020, as the mild weather dampened demand for the home-heating fuel while production soared. US inventories have been hovering well above typical seasonal levels, with stockpiles in the latest week sitting about 27% above the five-year average.

--With assistance from Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Jade Patterson, Daisy Robinson, Elizabeth Elkin and Alex Longley.

(Updates natural gas price in first and 10th paragraph.)

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