From steel and copper to corn and lumber, commodities started 2021 with a bang, surging to levels not seen for years. The rally threatens to raise the cost of goods from the lunchtime sandwich to gleaming skyscrapers. It's also lit the fuse on the massive reflation trade that's gripped markets this year and pushed up inflation expectations. With the U.S. economy pumped up on fiscal stimulus, and Europe's economy starting to reopen as its vaccination rollout gets into gear, there's little reason to expect a change in direction.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. said this week it sees a continued rally in commodities and that the "reflation and reopening trade will continue." On top of that, the Federal Reserve and other central banks seem calm about inflation, meaning economies could be left to run hot, which will rev up demand even more.