Why? Weather. Brazil, the largest coffee producer in the world, is facing a drought. And while harvests for oats were strong this year in Canada—the largest exporter of the stuff—cold weather is adding to logistical difficulties for railroads trying to get the stuff from prairie warehouses to market in places like Minnesota, home of General Mills. Natural gas prices have also surged during this year’s brutally cold winter.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the performance spectrum, currencies from countries such as Turkey and Argentina have depreciated sharply amid ongoing questions about their countries’ ability to manage their persistent borrowing from abroad (paywall).
Here’s a look at how the asset classes we keep a close eye on stack up so far in 2014.