Michael: Hello everybody, this is Michael Gross of OptionSellers.com, here with James Cordier for your March Option Seller Radio Show. James, welcome to the show.
James: Michael, as always, a pleasure doing this and speaking to our audience and everyone worldwide.
Michael: Well, we have a lot going on in commodity markets this month. James, let’s start off with the metals markets. We are having another surge higher here as we enter into late March. What’s going on over there?
James: Well, we started rallying here, over the last week or two, with negative interest rates worldwide. Certainly, both in Europe, China, and Japan this is the first time people have been discussing negative interest rates. That certainly gives the catalyst for investors in these parts of the world rationale to get into precious metals. Obviously, when you’re putting your money in a bank and you have to pay the bank, that certainly gets under people’s skin, and why not look for other investments? Certainly, Michael, when interest rates are negative, people think about inflation and we haven’t seen inflation yet. It appears to be right around the corner, and that’s what gold is pointing out with this recent rally.
Michael: Yeah, they’ve been interesting markets to watch. Also, over in the energy markets, a market we’ve been talking about a lot over the last couple of months – crude oil, pushing the $40 level. Where do you think we’re going from here?
James: Michael, you and I talk about seasonalities, especially in crude oil and gasoline. We’ve been trading these markets for over a decade. In regards to seasonality, one of the most ideal setups right now is taking place in energy. We are looking at perfectly fairly priced oil market, based on both supply and demand. We will often see energy prices fall October, November, December, going into what we call “shoulder season”. Then we expect this seasonal rally as driving-season approaches, and that’s exactly what’s happening now. So many people are pointing toward OPEC getting together and cutting production, and, actually, this past week they didn’t do that. They simply froze production at what level? The highest level ever. Yet, crude oil rallies $15 a barrel and gasoline rallies 20%, simply on seasonalities, and I think that’s what’s going on right now. Certainly, here in the United States, we have crude oil supplies at all time highs. You have Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran producing the most oil ever, and yet the market rallies. This is the power of seasonality and it’s certainly flexing it’s muscles again this year.
Michael: Well, I’ll say in a big kind of way, and bringing up seasonals, this is a very active time for seasonals in commodities. We’re going to talk a lot about that today, simply because we’re entering into a time period here… April, May, where you have a lot of strong seasonality in a commodities markets. James brought a great one up, crude oil… perfect example. We also have some strong seasonals in the grain markets this time of year, and even over into softs markets in coffee. Coffee is a highly seasonal market as well. Grown in Brazil, their seasons are opposite of ours. Where we’re having spring right now, they’re having autumn. James, I know coffee is one of your favorite markets to trade. What’s going on right now? First of all, let’s talk about the seasonal. What’s the typical seasonal for coffee this time of year?
James: Generally, the seasonal factors have switched to demand for this time of year. Fourth quarter and first quarter, in the Western Hemisphere of course, is the largest demand season. It’s thought that people drink a lot more coffee when it’s cold, and down here in Florida, I think we drink the same amount, but certainly the populations, northeast especially, and also regions in Europe, it’s thought that someone drinks 150% of the coffee they do in the winter, versus the summer. Generally speaking, demand is largest in the United States in January, February, and March. That often kick-starts a bit of a rally in coffee prices. That’s what we’re seeing right now. Harvest in a lot of the Central American countries and Brazil, as well, isn’t in earnest at this time of the year. We’re looking at that starting in the next three to four months. Then, supply comes on at the same time that demand weakens, and that’s why this seasonal, that we’re going to talk about right now, is going to be in play probably in the next thirty to sixty days.