This Chart Shows How Every Commodity Performed in 2016

Visual Capitalist |

2016 Commodity Performance

It was an up and down year for commodities, but things ultimately finished in the black.

The S&P Goldman Sachs (GS) Commodity Index (GSCI) climbed 10.1% on the year – it was just enough to edge out the S&P 500, which ended 2016 with a 9.5% return.

Winners in 2016

The biggest winners on the year were base metals and the oil and gas sector.

Here’s how base metals did:

Base MetalQ1Q2Q3Q42016
Iron Ore37.0%-6.2%6.3%31.1%81.0%

Iron ore and zinc were the best performing commodities on the face of the planet in 2016. Iron finished up 81%, its first calendar gain in four years. Meanwhile, zinc shot up 65.7% on the year as major zinc mines shut down, and supply stockpiles dwindled.

Oil and gas also posted a major comeback in 2016:

Natural gas-17.0%53.3%-2.7%28.0%58.5%
Oil (Brent)0.6%35.1%-1.2%13.6%52.4%
Oil (WTI)-3.2%37.3%-2.1%11.4%44.9%

It was a volatile year overall, but it appears that the worst of the downturn in energy prices is over.

Losers in 2016

Not all energy-related commodities could be so lucky.

Uranium continued its epic nosedive, losing -41.6% on the year. U3O8 now trades for $20.25/lb, a tiny fraction of its previous highs of over $100/lb in 2007.

Energy LosersQ1Q2Q3Q42016

Coal has also performed abysmally, at least in North America where CAPP prices finished down on the year -7.7%. We previously showed the decline of coal in three charts, and it seems that coal will likely continue to be an unpopular choice for utility companies in the US and Canada.

That said, it is worth mentioning that Australian coal prices went bonkers earlier this year due to a Chinese administrative oversight.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to:


Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
GS The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. 245.26 -7.34 -2.91 3,616,221 Trade


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