Commodity Inflation Hitting Food Stocks

Commodity Inflation Hitting Meals Shares

[amazon bestseller="Food" items="1" ]

Meals shares are underperforming thus far this yr, held down by escalating commodity inflation that can depress margins at these slow-moving giants. The Invesco DB Agriculture ETF (DBA) lifted to a 52-week excessive this week, with wheat buying and selling at a six-year excessive and corn at seven-year excessive, highlighting challenges for large gamers that embody Kellogg Firm (Okay) and Campbell Soup Firm (CPB). Even high 2020 sector performers are feeling the warmth, with Normal Mills, Inc. (GIS) and Hormel Meals Company (HRL) descending quickly from multi-year highs. 

Key Takeaways

  • Wheat and corn futures are buying and selling at multi-year highs.
  • Rising commodity inflation has triggered a selloff in meals shares.
  • It is more durable for these corporations to seek out buyers in periods of rising rates of interest.
  • Kellogg inventory might commerce into the decrease $50s earlier than attracting dedicated shopping for curiosity.

The businesses are getting hit with a one-two-three punch as a result of they’re additionally defensive performs that pay excessive dividend yields. That has stored them afloat in periods of threat aversion and low rates of interest, however the yield curve is now steepening whereas the CBOE 10-12 months Treasury Yield Index (TNX) has lifted to a 10-month excessive. This makes excessive fairness yields much less engaging as a result of buyers can search higher returns via faster-moving equities and the bond markets.

Passive administration has additionally contributed to lagging efficiency, as evidenced by Kellogg, which owns MorningStar Farms. The processor had a golden alternative to capitalize on enormous curiosity in plant-based meats however did nothing till waves of rivals hit the market. Even so, it is making an attempt to play catch-up, partnering with Dunkin’ to launch a brand new plant-based menu possibility. Sadly, the corporate has already misplaced monumental income to Past Meat, Inc. (BYND) and privately held Inconceivable Burger.

Agriculture ETF Month-to-month Chart (2008 – 2021)

Nearly all of commodity-dependent meals shares are prone to commerce inversely to the agricultural fund in coming months. This instrument posted an all-time excessive within the $40s in 2008 and misplaced two-thirds of its worth through the financial collapse. It settled within the decrease $20s and turned greater into the brand new decade, posting a decrease excessive in 2011. Bears then took management as soon as once more, finishing a 2016 double high breakdown that translated right into a steep multi-year downtrend.

The fund hit an all-time low at $13.15 throughout 2020’s pandemic decline and turned greater in July. It broke out above four-year trendline resistance in November, setting the stage for extra beneficial properties that ought to ease across the 50-month exponential shifting common (EMA), which has acted as resistance for almost 10 years. A pullback from that stage might supply low-risk shopping for alternative or an ideal time to unload long-term publicity.


Inflation is the decline of buying energy of a given forex over time. A quantitative estimate of the speed at which the decline in buying energy happens may be mirrored within the enhance of a median value stage of a basket of chosen items and companies in an economic system over some time period. The rise within the normal stage of costs, usually expressed as a share, signifies that a unit of forex successfully buys lower than it did in prior durations.

Kellogg Month-to-month Chart (2000 – 2021)

The inventory presently pays a 3.86% ahead dividend yield. It posted a low at $20.75 in 2000, marking the primary level in a shallow rising trendline that has now continued for greater than twenty years. A multi-year uptrend hit an all-time excessive at $87.16 in 2016, giving solution to a steep decline that discovered assist on the trendline within the second quarter of 2019. It posted a 52-week excessive on the finish of 2019 and rolled over, bouncing on the trendline as soon as once more. 

Bullish motion reached the low $70s in the course of 2020, however a breakout try failed in July, yielding a gentle downtick that has simply pierced the $60 stage for the primary time since March 2020. The inventory is now buying and selling about 5 factors above the trendline at $54, on the identical time the month-to-month stochastic oscillator has crossed into the oversold zone. Consequently, promoting strain is prone to enhance in coming weeks, bringing the trendline into play for the sixth time since 2000.


Trendlines are simply recognizable strains that merchants draw on charts to attach a collection of costs collectively or present some knowledge’s finest match. The ensuing line is then used to present the dealer a good suggestion of the route by which an funding’s worth would possibly transfer.

The Backside Line

Rising commodity inflation has put a lid on meals shares, elevating the percentages for a yr of lagging efficiency.

Disclosure: The creator held Kellogg and Campbell Soup in a household account on the time of publication however no positions within the different aforementioned securities.