Despite some ups and down, 2016 has been a good year for commodities. By June, prices of most metals and minerals were very close to enter into bull market territory (defined by a 20% increase from previous lows), rebounding from their lowest in at least 25 years.
And while some raw materials have lost some of those gains since the Brexit vote, analysts such as those at Macquarie Bank believe the upward trend is here to stay. What’s more, they expect most commodities to either stabilize or increase over the next 12-24 months.
“We have seen a shift to the right for many, with inventories now starting to draw,” Macquarie Bank’s commodity research team writes.
Commodities to lead the pack in the short term, the note adds, are alumina, nickel and cobalt. But when talking about a longer-term outlook, the analysts place their bet on gold, silver, zinc, nickel, chrome and US natural gas.
They are not as optimistic when it comes to potash, aluminum, steel and LNG, as the bank believes those commodities will continue face challenges over the next two years.
Macquarie is not alone in forecasting better times ahead. Barclays’ commodities research team also released a note midweek warning that, despite a likely fourth-quarter weakness coming up, commodities will regain strength in coming months.
Factors that support such believe, FT.com reported, include improving economic conditions in Asian markets and a weakening US dollar.
The article also said the bank cited a reduced emphasis on monetary policy, which could see governments use more fiscal expenditure to boost growth in the form of commodity-using infrastructure projects.
A third factor boosting commodity prices, according to Barclays, is investors’ increasing confidence, with cash flows into commodity funds totalled roughly $55 billion from January to August, beating the previous record for the same period in 2009.