Sweet as a sweetie! STA monthly meeting with webinar presentation by Elizabeth Miller
No, I’m not being patronising, especially on International Women’s Day; in fact, I think Elizabeth Miller could have been included in Forbes’ top 100 women in finance. The STA was delighted to welcome this total pro who, as one would expect, gave a tour de force, whirlwind presentation entitled ‘Sweet Talk – Sugar Technicals’.
Introduced by Jeff Boccaccio (who couldn’t help dropping in some corny lines like ‘’a mouthful’’) Elizabeth Miller MSTA is a professional analyst with over 25 years of research experience of commodity, currency and bond markets. She is Lead Commodity and Macroeconomic Analyst at Mars Chocolate UK & Wrigley UK; she currently supports the dairy and sugar categories.
Having worked at the family-owned firm for 15 years – founded in 1911 with 130,000 staff and $40 billion in sales in 2020 – she says: ‘’we can have a long perspective. Mars doesn’t speculate – it produces product’’. A key ingredient is sugar which she terms ’a bulking agent’, and allows herself one Mum joke: ‘’I’m ambi-dextrose’’.
Understandably, end-users don’t like volatility – and prefer lower prices to higher ones (unlike most stockbrokers) – she fears that this year ‘’rising tides have lifted all [sugar] boats’’. Claiming that ‘’econometrics are Technical Analysis in disguise’’ as it uses moving averages, which she does (1, 3 and 12 month simple ones), she also uses Fibonacci retracements and Ichimoku clouds which she classifies as an ‘’old fashioned Japanese technique’’.
Reminding us that ‘’sugar cane is the most efficient converter of sunlight into plant carbohydrates’’, she whizzes through the dynamics of sugar versus ethanol in the Brazilian economy, the effects of exchange rates on one’s choice, and global prices as to whether to export either product. For this she tends to use seasonal models, indicators and ‘’cyclical stuff’’.
Rounding off she maintains that regarding current geo-politics, ‘’I don’t think anybody knows what’s going on [adding] I think technical analysis is really good when you haven’t a clue what’s going on’’. Not clutching at straws but a rope to hang on to in violent seas. Perfect for today!
Tags: commodities, ethanol, hedging, Sugar
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