The commodities industry is emerging from the most severe downturn in a generation and that presents a new set of challenges and opportunities, particularly in regions such as the Americas, which boast a huge endowment of raw materials. President Trump’s pledge to tear up trade deals and impose border tariffs could have far-reaching ramifications across the continent, particularly in agriculture, where abundant stocks are capping price gains. The direction of the US dollar, industrial relations, as well as the pace of economic growth and reform in China, are other factors that commodity traders and producers in the Americas will have to address in 2017.
But there are also opportunities. The continent has untapped resources of renewable energy, oil and gas and metals waiting to be developed. These, and many other issues, will form the agenda for the first FT Commodities Americas Summit, which will feature speakers from some of the world’s biggest trading houses, resource companies and banks, as well as senior government leaders.