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04/08/2011

The CRB Index

Lots of talk about inflation these days and while record high gold levels have captured a lot of the attention over the past few years, lately the talk is more about rising food prices. So I thought I’d update a piece from about a year ago on the Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index. Founded in 1957, the index is the most widely followed and is comprised of 19 commodities, further broken down into a 4-tiered grouping system designed to reflect the significance of each one.

Energy: 39%
Agriculture: 41%
Precious Metals: 7%
Base/Industrial Metals: 13%

Components…

Energy:

WTI (West Texas Intermediate) Crude Oil…..23%
Heating Oil………………………………….....5%
RBOB Gasoline…………………………….....5%
Natural Gas…………………………………....6%

Agriculture:

Corn…………………………………………..6%
Soybeans……………………………………...6%
Live Cattle…………………………………….6%
Sugar………………………………………….5%
Cotton………………………………………...5%
Coffee………………………………………...5%
Cocoa…………………………………………5%
Wheat…………………………………………1%
Lean Hogs…………………………………….1%
Orange Juice…………………………………..1%

Precious Metals:

Gold…………………………………………..6%
Silver………………………………………….1%

Base/Industrial Metals:

Aluminum……………………………………..6%
Copper………………………………………..6%
Nickel………………………………………...1%

[By the way, back when the CRB Index was created in ‘57, it had 28 components, including eggs, flaxseed, lard, lead, onions, potatoes, rubber, rye, and wool tops.]

The all-time high in the CRB was 473.518 set on 7/2/08 when the economy was still rocking and oil was soaring.

Following are some comparative benchmarks along with the CRB.

CRB Index

12/31/07….358.71
07/02/08….473.51…oil peaks at $147 on 7/7
12/31/08….229.54…the market had tanked amidst the financial crisis
12/31/09….283.38…recovery
05/25/10….248.79…low for year
12/31/10….332.80
03/31/11….359.43

Oil and Gold

12/31/07…..$95.98…..$838
07/02/08…$143.74…..$934
12/31/08…..$44.60…..$884
12/31/09…..$79.36….$1096
05/25/10…..$67.61….$1198
12/31/10…..$91.38….$1421
03/31/11….$106.72….$1438

S&P 500

12/31/07…1468.36
07/02/08…1261.51
12/31/08…..903.25
12/31/09…1115.10
05/25/10…1074.03
12/31/10…1257.64
03/31/11…1325.83

Sources: Jefferies.com / RJ/CRB; various, including StocksandNews.com database

[One easy way to find the CRB index is through Bloomberg.com., ‘Market Data’ then ‘Commodities’]

Wall Street History returns in two weeks.

Brian Trumbore
 



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Wall Street History

04/08/2011

The CRB Index

Lots of talk about inflation these days and while record high gold levels have captured a lot of the attention over the past few years, lately the talk is more about rising food prices. So I thought I’d update a piece from about a year ago on the Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index. Founded in 1957, the index is the most widely followed and is comprised of 19 commodities, further broken down into a 4-tiered grouping system designed to reflect the significance of each one.

Energy: 39%
Agriculture: 41%
Precious Metals: 7%
Base/Industrial Metals: 13%

Components…

Energy:

WTI (West Texas Intermediate) Crude Oil…..23%
Heating Oil………………………………….....5%
RBOB Gasoline…………………………….....5%
Natural Gas…………………………………....6%

Agriculture:

Corn…………………………………………..6%
Soybeans……………………………………...6%
Live Cattle…………………………………….6%
Sugar………………………………………….5%
Cotton………………………………………...5%
Coffee………………………………………...5%
Cocoa…………………………………………5%
Wheat…………………………………………1%
Lean Hogs…………………………………….1%
Orange Juice…………………………………..1%

Precious Metals:

Gold…………………………………………..6%
Silver………………………………………….1%

Base/Industrial Metals:

Aluminum……………………………………..6%
Copper………………………………………..6%
Nickel………………………………………...1%

[By the way, back when the CRB Index was created in ‘57, it had 28 components, including eggs, flaxseed, lard, lead, onions, potatoes, rubber, rye, and wool tops.]

The all-time high in the CRB was 473.518 set on 7/2/08 when the economy was still rocking and oil was soaring.

Following are some comparative benchmarks along with the CRB.

CRB Index

12/31/07….358.71
07/02/08….473.51…oil peaks at $147 on 7/7
12/31/08….229.54…the market had tanked amidst the financial crisis
12/31/09….283.38…recovery
05/25/10….248.79…low for year
12/31/10….332.80
03/31/11….359.43

Oil and Gold

12/31/07…..$95.98…..$838
07/02/08…$143.74…..$934
12/31/08…..$44.60…..$884
12/31/09…..$79.36….$1096
05/25/10…..$67.61….$1198
12/31/10…..$91.38….$1421
03/31/11….$106.72….$1438

S&P 500

12/31/07…1468.36
07/02/08…1261.51
12/31/08…..903.25
12/31/09…1115.10
05/25/10…1074.03
12/31/10…1257.64
03/31/11…1325.83

Sources: Jefferies.com / RJ/CRB; various, including StocksandNews.com database

[One easy way to find the CRB index is through Bloomberg.com., ‘Market Data’ then ‘Commodities’]

Wall Street History returns in two weeks.

Brian Trumbore