Produced by Vanessa Kortekaas. Filmed by Steve Ager.
Here in Lausanne, the world's largest resource companies have gathered for the FT Commodities Summit. And after the biggest commodities downturn in a generation, the market has started to recover. But uncertainty remains, including over the oil price. I asked several industry experts what they think are the key themes and events shaping commodities in 2017.
So I think there will be two main drivers. One is going to be China. We shouldn't forget that China accounts for, most commodities, around 50% of the demand. And the second piece is going to be the US and the impact of the Trump administration.
I think we are listening much more to the consumer. Sustainability is getting to be a real issue, and we are paying much more attention than before to sustainability. And logistics, efficiency, and technology-- those are the main themes I see in general, across all commodities.
I think anything-- any level of uncertainty or policy which impacts trade or impacts the value of the dollar on foreign currency markets could impact commodity prices. I think-- and then of course, weather. You never know when you're going to get a hot, dry, or unexpected weather event in either-- in either North or South America, or one of the growing regions of the world. So that's always a variable in agricultural production.
The two main things are going to be geopolitics. You know, what will happen out of this new Saudi-Russian relationship. Will it get deeper or not? And the second one is technology. Obvously, the disrupting effect of technology has been massive, and I think that's going to have a major impact on our industry here.
Firstly, from a geopolitical point of view, we're-- we're seeing significant changes-- potential trade barriers in the US or policy changes-- that will have a significant impact. Secondly, continued emerging market growth. Very positive growth out of India. And I think to many, it may be surprising-- very strong demand out of China as well. And finally, we're seeing sort of financial market stress. Interest rates picking up. What's that going to have on, if you like, movement of funds and how that impacts on the commodity prices, to me, are the main themes.