Commodities the Best Investment of the Moment, Says Jim Rogers

The values of precious metals and agricultural commodities have declined from record highs in rcent onth, but Jim Rogers believes that this is the time to buy as these …

The values of precious metals and agricultural commodities have declined from record highs in rcent onth, but Jim Rogers believes that this is the time to buy as these commodities may rebound as fears of recession lift. For more information, read the following article from Money Morning:

Commodity prices have plunged from the record highs they hit earlier this year, but in a recent interview with Bloomberg, investing guru Jim Rogers said he is still bullish on commodities, which he expects to take off as soon as the clouds of the global recession lift.

The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 commodities has fallen more than 54 percent from its July peak and is now at its lowest level in six years. Oil spearheaded the decline, with light, sweet crude for January delivery dropping $2.36, or 5.4 percent, to settle at $41.31 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Friday. Black gold has tumbled 71 percent since peaking at a record high of $147 a barrel in July.

Actual gold is down 27 percent from its record high of $1,032 an ounce, reached in March. Prices for other commodities such as copper, zinc, platinum and corn have shared in the decline as well.

“Everybody is just trying to get out of the markets,” Michael Aronstein, president of Marketfield Asset Management, told Bloomberg. “People are exiting as fast as they can.”

Everybody except Jim Rogers, that is.

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“Commodities will be the place to be if and when we come out of” the recession, Rogers said an interview with Bloomberg. “The only thing where fundamentals are unimpaired are commodities.”

Rogers reasons that underinvestment will lead to a supply crunch in commodities that will send prices soaring.

“Farmers cannot get loans for fertilizer now. Nobody can get a loan to open a zinc mine,” he said. “So we are going to have some serious, serious supply problems before too much longer.”

In an interview with Money Morning earlier this year, Rogers pointed to a lack of investment and production in the energy sector as a main reason for oil’s run-up in price.

“Every oil country in the world has declining reserves except Saudi Arabia,” Rogers said. “And I know that every oil company has declining reserves.  So unless somebody discovers a lot of oil very quickly in very accessible areas, the surprise is going to be how high the price stays, and how high it goes.”

Now that the global recession has stomped down crude prices, oil companies no longer have the incentive or the funding to develop new sources. Earlier this year, for instance, ConocoPhilips (COP) and Saudi Arabian Investment Co. (ARAMCO) were forced to postpone bidding on the construction of a 400,000-barrels-per-day (bpd) export refinery at the Yanbu Industrial City.

“We see and hear about energy investments being delayed…This is a major worry and could lead to a supply crunch and much higher oil prices than we’ve seen before,” Fatih Birol, the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) chief economist, told journalists in London last month.

The IEA says oil demand will rise 1.6 percent a year on average between 2006 and 2030. That means demand will rise from the current level of 85 million bpd to 106 million bpd.

To meet that demand, the agency estimates the world needs $26.3 trillion in supply-side investment over the next 21 years. About 7 million bpd of additional capacity needs to added to the market by 2015, the agency said.

Gold is another commodity that could make another record-breaking run.

Demand for the yellow metal actually increased by a record 45 percent from the second quarter to the third this year.

“I own some gold,” Rogers told Bloomberg. “And if gold goes down I’ll buy some more and if gold goes up I’ll buy some more. Gold during the course of the bull market, which has several more years to go, will go much higher.”

This article has been reposted from Money Morning. You can view the article on Money Morning’s investment news website here.

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