Thursday, April 19, 2018

Ruthenium, Part Three

So how do you invest in Ru? There is no company that specializes in it. Also, there is no ETF, as there is for Rhodium. So you have to physically buy the metal. Most precious metal investors like to buy bars or coins. They are easy to store, and you have something to look at/show your friends if you are into that sort of thing.
But Ru is an industrial rather than a precious metal. It is value dense, but all its usage goes to industrial applications. So I believe buying the industrial form is better. This is in the form of a sandy powder. You buy a can(s) of this. This blog will not recommend any vendors, but you can find some if you search the web. Make sure they are reputable, both the seller and the manufacture who produces the material.
I only buy physical commodities very rarely. There are a lot of disadvantages, including trading costs, counterparty risk, and storage risk. But in this case, I simply don't see another way.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Ruthenium, Part Two

Because of the large move Ru has had, one might think that its price is historically very high. However, after adjusting for inflation, it's still in the general range it has been for a long time. Here's a chart of the price in 2018 dollars going back to 1972.
It's at the top of its normal range. If I'm right about the fundamentals, it should eventually break out of that range.

Tomorrow I'll talk about the hardest question: how to find a vehicle to invest in it.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Ruthenium and Iridium

These are two minor platinum group metals. I am very bullish on both, especially ruthenium. It is not used primarily for internal combustion engine cleanup, as is platinum and palladium. Instead it is used in many high tech applications, especially electronics and chemicals. These are expanding sectors of the world economy. So demand is good.
No so for supply. As palladium's price has risen vs. platinum, the southern African miners have shifted their capex to Pd - intensive regions. These produce lesser amounts of ruthenium.
The price of  Ru has already more than doubled, but I believe it has further to go.

More on this over the next few days. In the meantime, check out:
http://www.platinum.matthey.com/ for a chart, and:
http://www.platinum.matthey.com/services/market-research/pgm-market-reports for some stats.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Here's a graph of soil temperature over the last 16 years at 4 inch depth for April 9th. This year is the lowest ever.

More on Agriculture

As of yesterday, the soil temperature in Slater Iowa at two inches below the surface was 36.0 degrees F. The 10 year average of temperature on this date is 50.6 degrees F. Corn requires a minimum of 50 degrees to germinate, but it's better if it's higher than that.
The cold weather has added another risk to the crop. If the crop can only get in late, it will be at risk for an early frost. Until the weather turns, I will buy any dip.




Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Added a little to my corn long

Fundamentally, I like it. However, the specs have gotten quite long, and this seems like a good excuse to cause some pain. I will continue buying scale down.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Full boat in CALM

I forgot to post this yesterday. I finished out my position in CALM. The egg market has healed, and I believe this will once again be a very successful company. Over the past 20 years, CALM has given an annual total return of 21%! That's what being the low cost producer in a commodity business will do for you.