Opening Keynote Address
The Geopolitics of Commodities
In an era of strongman leaders and great-power rivalry, geopolitics has emerged as a key driver of commodity prices and investor sentiment. We take a look at some of the factors that could impact markets in the year ahead from the China-US trade war, to the future of Opec, US foreign policy in the Middle East and how China will manage its dependence on imported commodities.
CEO Discussion - Trading the Oil Market
After a tough start to 2018 as margins were squeezed by a market shift, oil traders have enjoyed more favourable conditions over the past six months. But markets remain volatile with considerable uncertainty around supply and demand, while competition remains fierce. With two of the biggest names in the industry, we consider the outlook for oil trading and ask where future opportunities lie.
China - Growth, Stimulus and Reform
As the world’s biggest consumer of raw materials China is of crucial importance to the commodities industry. A leading economist will deliver their prognosis for the world’s second biggest economy, considering the response of policymakers to a slowdown in growth, Beijing’s reform agenda and crackdown on pollution.
CEO Discussion: A World Transformed
In the last decade the oil market has gone from the dizzy heights of the $100 crude era through the bust of 2014-16, before enduring a sometimes volatile recovery. While the long-term outlook for the oil market is still far from certain, one thing is known for sure: the biggest transformation has been driven by the explosive growth of the US shale industry.
From shale’s prospects for continued growth as the US becomes the world’s largest crude oil producer, to the defensive alliance that has been forged between Saudi Arabia and Russia, the US energy patch is now dictating the market’s future.
For commodity traders, the ability to thrive in this new battleground has become a major opportunity, helping producers manage the journey from wellhead to refinery, and shipping vast volumes of the US shale bounty overseas. But what does the future for shale look like and how will it continue to impact the broader market.
M&A Panel - Deal-Making in Commodities
What are the prospects for deal-making in 2019 and beyond, and where is consolidation needed? Mining, agriculture or energy?
Leaders' Debate - Rethinking the Agribusiness
Technology, transparency and financial market volatility has changed agricultural commodity trading, eroding the classical edge of the industry’s big players. Faced with markets that arbitrage information instantaneously, trading companies are adapting their business models, putting a greater focus on downstream activities like processing, as they seek to get closer to the customer. But how far should they go and does consolidation provide an answer?
View from the Top
Leaders' Debate - Growth or Returns?
Since the brutal price downturn of 2014, miners have slashed spending on new projects and balked at doing transformational deals. Instead they have focused on returning as much cash as possible to their shareholders. But at some point they need to invest and replace the metals and minerals they dig out of the ground. We ask how the mining industry can deliver sustainable growth and avoid a return to the boom and bust cycles of the past.
FT Lex Debate
Investors in fossil fuel producers. Are they doomed?