Jim Rogers: What now for Commodities?

Jim Rogers said the commodities bull market is still on track to higher prices, but he isn’t buying anything right now.

In an exclusive interview with IndexUniverse.com, the commodities king said the downdraft in commodities the markets experienced in June isn’t unusual. “It’s the way the world works.”

“If you look at oil, for instance, it has gone down over 50% three or four different times since 1998,” added Rogers.  “That’s what markets do, and they will continue to do that.”

When asked whether the commodities bull market that he envisioned more than a decade ago and about which he wrote in his book, “Hot Commodities,” is still intact, Rogers said, “yes.”

Close followers of Rogers know he likes agriculture more than any commodity, longer term.  Populations are growing in size and prosperity in Asia, bringing with that growth an upgraded and voluminous diet—the demand side of the price equation.  On the supply side, Rogers notes the aging of farming personnel will pose challenges to the restocking of qualified talent.

“We know that there are huge shortages of agriculture developing,” he said.  “I don’t know if you knew this, but the average age of farmers in America is 58 years old. In 10 years, they’re going to be 68, if they’re still alive. Throughout the world, we have serious, maybe even catastrophic developments in agriculture, which is going to hurt us all over the next couple of decades.”

In the oil market, Rogers sites the lack of meaningful new discoveries to offset Asia’s insatiable demand for crude, reminiscent of the days post WWII in the United States as industrial growth jumped into overdrive to supply a war-torn world with everything from household appliances and automobiles to military and commercial planes.  China isn’t selling air force fighter planes yet, but it sells just about everything else that can fit into a big box store.  Nevertheless, China has overtaken the U.S. in oil imports.

“I do not see any major new sources of supply [of oil]. We know that the known reserves of oil continue to decline worldwide,” Rogers explained.

And as far as the hottest commodity since the summer of 2010, silver, Rogers likes it for the rest of the decade and wants more of the poor-man’s precious metal on pullbacks.  He had said early in May that the moonshot move to $50 in April didn’t look healthy and hoped for a pullback to kill the froth.

“Well, I’m long silver, and if it goes down more, I hope I’m smart enough to buy more,” he said.  “I didn’t particularly like seeing it spike, because anything that turns into a parabolic move has to be sold. And I don’t want to sell my silver. I want to own it 10 years from now. Fortunately, that spike did break, and I find that encouraging and bullish.”