Goldman raises aluminum forecasts on higher Chinese and European demand

Aluminum factory in Russia. (Reference image by uc_rusal_photo_gallery, Wikimedia Commons.)

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised its price forecasts for aluminum, saying higher demand in Europe and China could lead to supply shortages.

The metal will probably average $3,125 a ton this year in London, analysts including Nicholas Snowdon and Aditi Rai said in a note to clients. That’s up from the current price of $2,595 and compares with the bank’s previous forecast of $2,563.

Goldman sees the metal, used to make everything from beer cans to plane parts, climbing to $3,750 a ton in the next 12 months.

“With visible global inventories standing at just 1.4 million tons, down 900,000 tons from a year ago and now the lowest since 2002, the return of an aggregate deficit will quickly trigger scarcity concerns,” the analysts said. “Set against a far more benign macro environment, with fading dollar headwinds and a slowing Fed hiking cycle, we expect upside price momentum to build progressively into spring.”

Aluminum reached record highs soon after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last February. It’s since slumped as Europe’s energy crisis and a slowing global economy led many smelters to curb production.

Like many Wall Street banks, Goldman is bullish on commodities as a whole, arguing that a lack of investment in recent years has led to low supply buffers. It sees the asset class generating investors returns of more than 40% this year as China reopens and the global economy picks up in the second half of the year.

(By Paul Wallace)


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