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Chicago Gasoline Highest-Flying Commodity Benchmark In Trump Era

Between U.S. President Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20, 2017, and end-February 2018, eight out of 11 commodity benchmark prices tracked by S&P Global Platts increased, with Chicago CBOB Gasoline leading the pack with an 11.8-percent increase.

Platts has been monitoring a group of 11 commodity benchmarks and comparing them in President Trump’s term to date with Barack Obama’s eight years in office between January 2009 and January 2017, although fundamentals and a range of other factors influence commodity prices, Joseph Innace, Platts metals content director, Americas, writes in a blog post.

Platts has compared the price of those 11 commodity benchmarks on January 19, 2017—the day before President Trump’s inauguration—with the running-average prices between inauguration day and February 28, 2018. The comparison showed that Chicago CBOB Gasoline increased the most, followed by the jet fuel benchmark price that rose by 8.9 percent.

Dated Brent Crude’s running average in the Trump era was $56.14 a barrel between January 20, 2017, and February 28, 2018, compared with $53.31 the day before inauguration day, an increase of 5.3 percent.

New York Harbor fuel oil’s running average rose by 4.3 percent in the Trump era, and key metals benchmarks gold and aluminum were up by 6.4 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively.

Three commodity benchmarks have traded lower since President Trump’s inauguration—natural gas, down 6.5 percent, thermal coal, down 5.9 percent, and global iron ore, down 11.1 percent.

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The steel benchmark, the U.S.-made hot-rolled coil, was up just 1 percent between inauguration day and end-February, but after the 25-percent tariff on steel imports was announced on March 8, the benchmark prices have jumped. Since March 1, the U.S.-made hot-rolled coil benchmark price has averaged $823.61 per short ton, almost $188 per short ton above the 13-month running average, Platts has calculated.

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Between March 1, the day of President Trump’s announcement that he would levy the tariff, and March 9, the day after he signed the order, the US-made hot-rolled steel coil gained nearly $57 per short ton, a 7.2-percent jump.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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