Commodity Report: September


  • The 2017 budget contains a €750m fund for builders, plus an additional €75m to open up sites for residential development and 3,800 new social homes in 2018 as housing initiative measures 1
  • The Construction Industry Federation has reported very strong demand in the sector at 25,000 units, while increased output activity will reach nearly 19,000 units 2
  • The Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) expanded to 56.5 in September from 55.1 in August 3


  • Europe accounts for 9.9% of the World’s Crude Steel production 4
  • The recent takeover of the Europe’s largest steel plant in Italy will mean that two companies in Europe will control nearly half of Europe’s steel industry, which bring hopes of greater pricing discipline and more consolidation 5
  • It is expected that consolidation within the steel industry, can help cut excess supply and support prices which have started to recover since early last year
  • Over the last 50 years, China’s Steel production has grown from just 2.1% to 49.6%, now producing nearly half of the world’s total steel output 6


  • The latest GDT auction shows a decrease of 2.4% overall with milk fat, down 3.4%, and butter price index decreased by 3.6% 9
  • Irish milk production has increased by 7.4% on the corresponding period last year, growing at a faster pace than any other EU state or the UK which as only grown 0.5% during the same period 7
  • Irish Processors are paying 35-36c/L including VAT for base milk prices 8
  • Butter prices have been driven by higher consumption on the back of a move towards more natural spread product and baking ingredients 10

Crude Oil

  • OPEC and up to 10 additional producers have indicated that they will hold back production through 2018 in support of tightening supplies 11
  • Despite rising oil prices in the US, the number of oil rigs operating in U.S. fields has plateaued recently resulting in a falling off in crude oil output 12
  • The tightening of global stockpiles have resulted in crude oil prices increasing by over 25% since June 13

Currency: Euro – GBP

  • The International Monetary Fund has forecast that Brexit uncertainty will hit Britain’s economy in 2017 and 2018 14
  • Some of the major European financial institutions have downgraded their forecasts for GBP to the end of the year, SEB predicting a 3% decline in GBP vs. Euro by year end and Commerzbank warning that GBP could spiral if Brexit talks do not progress in a positive manner or if there is a delay in the UK interest rate hike 15
  • Brexit talks have not advanced and there is much uncertainty around the economic future for the EU and UK trade 16

Currency: Euro – US Dollar

  • Central Statistics Office data released for the second quarter of this year, show that the economy grew by 5.8% in compared to the same time last year 17
  • Since the start of 2017, the Euro has risen by almost 15% against the dollar, to $1.19 and the dollar has weakened on the back of its economies underperformance during 2017 18
  • The Dollar has strengthened on the back of strong stock performance, higher wages and employment now at 4.2%, the lowest for 16 years 19

Currency: GBP – US Dollar

  • GBP/USD rate is expected to hold at between 1.30 and 1.36 for the foreseeable future, notwithstanding the political leadership uncertainty and UK Brexit strategy negotiations
  • The US September manufacturing Index has exceeded expectations, jumping 1.8 points to 60.8 while the Non-Manufacturing PMI has reached a 12 year high of 59.820
  • The UK’s September PMI results support expectations for lower expansion in the UK economy for the last 2 quarters of 2017
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