FT Commodities Editor Javier Blas on the stories of 2013

I spent some time with Javier Blas, the FT’s delightful and clever Commodities Editor, earlier this week. Over an expresso we talked about skiing (Javier is an expert, his father was a national champion) and Spain and the year ahead. Javier talked me through the big events coming up in commodities in the next 12 months: the impact of US shale oil and gas on the US economy, and what cheap American energy also means for the global energy business; new leadership and a new focus on ROE at the big 5 mining firms; the rise and rise of the commodity trading houses like Glencore; Africa’s transition from a pure-play commodity origination story to a processing and destination story too; the creaking politics of Iran, whose vast oil reserves and geo-strategic location on the Straits of Homuz make it such an important part of the global economy. As Israel threats and US sanctions bear down on its nuclear weapons programme, does Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government crack in the face of youth-led demands for reform, or does it lash out.

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