Commodities Volatility: Our CEO John Banaszkiewicz looks back at 2023 (and forecasts for 2024)

Commodities Volatility: Our CEO John Banaszkiewicz looks back at 2023 (and forecasts for 2024)

Market Volatility and Season's Greetings!

Hello and welcome to a special edition of Freight Up, the go-to podcast for the latest buzz in the commodities and freight markets from FIS.

I'm your host, Fernanda, and boy, do we have a jam-packed episode lined up for you this week. And it's just as well because this is our last episode of 2023!

We've got Joshua Stern, Archie Smith, Hao Pei, George Huston, and of course, John Banaszkiewicz, centre stage to dissect the fluctuations that are setting the tone for both 2023 and the predictions that 2024 holds.

We're also linking here to the website John B mentions in his conversation with us, in case you're feeling festively charitable and want to help us to help Ukraine!

We'll explore the ripples of the nickel price surge on battery costs and the consequent allure for financial players in the green battery production space.

Josh will take us through the steel markets, from USHRC to scrap, and we'll delve into the ever-fluctuating landscape of oil with Archie's expert insights on those OPEC decisions and their far-reaching impacts. Oh and an update on Al Zour!

But it's not all charts and numbers; we'll touch upon the more personal side of our guests as they share their humanitarian efforts, their holiday cheer, and, yes, their plans for their four-legged friends during the festive season. Love going straight out to the Smith family doggos!

With the masterful breakdowns from our commodity connoisseurs, we're looking at market drivers like freight, iron ore, and the growth of the battery metals market with us lot at FIS setting the pace.

We're also zooming into the futures of Supermax, Cape, and more with eye-opening contract period interests that have surged before we all turn our calendars.

George Houston's ground-breaking venture into the fertiliser options market and Hao Pei's prediction on iron ore prices serve as testaments to the innovation and foresight pulsing through the veins of this industry.

Oil and Fuel Market Fluctuations

Archie Smith discussed the crude market sways influenced by OPEC's production cut decisions and compliance uncertainties as non-OPEC nations ramp up their outputs. He also delved into the broader ramifications of an economic downturn on oil prices and the expected decrease in demand by 2024 as per the Energy Information Administration.

A targeted attack on an oil tanker has sparked fresh concerns over the safety of critical shipping routes, which could potentially inflate prices due to perceived instability. Yet, the fuel market as a whole appears to be settling, with a softening in marine fuel prices brought about by increasing supply forecasts in Asia.

Iron Ore Pricing and the Steel Market Insight

Our episode features a deep dive with Hao Pei into the steel markets including iron ore prices.

The iron ore market has been stationed at unprecedented highs, but Hao Pei suspects this balloon may soon deflate to foster a more sustainable industry landscape. He forecasts a potential price correction that might bring some relief to beleaguered steel mills.

There's a predictable pattern emerging, with predictions of market volatility in the first half of the year and a price band oscillating between $95 and $140. Josh, providing his take on the US hot-rolled coil and scrap markets, echoed the sentiment on price surges and seasonal pressures.

Seasonal Reflections and Forward-Looking Predictions

As the freight and commodities space braces for 2024, John B took time to reflect on the year's challenges and opportunities. Josh Stern's analysis of steel markets, the first-ever brokered fertilizer option by George Huston, and Hao Pei's perspicacious commentary on iron ore provided a comprehensive review of hot commodity markets.

The volatile oil narratives, as presented by Archie, interlaced political factors with market predictions.

Yet amidst this earnest discussion, there was room for lighter, more personal shares, including holiday plans and charitable contributions, reminding us all of the humanity that underlies our global markets.

As we face the turbulence of year's end, Freight Up extends warm holiday wishes to you and your family and looks forward to another year of keen insights and evolved market landscapes!

We hope you'll continue to join us in January!


05:05 Poor demand outlook, shipping route concerns impact prices.

09:32 Volatility in markets, challenging year for traders.

11:00 Market sentiment leans positive, despite volatility.

16:32 Complexity and volatility in the environmental market.

20:01 Steel market experiencing volatility, momentum slowing down.

23:39 Curve flattens, backwardation returns, interest in 2024.

27:42 North China weather disrupts port, Pacific rates rise.

29:02 Highly volatile week in shipping and trading.

32:12 Panamax, Cape, Supermax saw high trading volumes.

36:28 Specialised in grain risk management; advocating accessibility.

40:32 Iron ore demand and supply dynamics suggest bearish outlook.

42:37 Iron ore prediction for 2024: higher average.

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Freight Up! Fuel oil, iron ore, steel and other commodity insights from Freight Investor Services
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