LONDON – Goldman Sachs Group is more bullish on commodities than any time since the end of the supercycle in 2008.
As economies around the world pick up, factories are humming, eating into stockpiles of raw materials and driving demand at miners and oil producers already facing limits on output. Copper, iron-ore and crude prices will extend gains this year, Goldman analysts Jeffrey Currie and Michael Hinds said.
“The environment for investing in commodities is the best since 2004-2008,” they wrote in a research note.
Rising commodity prices will create a virtuous circle, improving the balance sheets of producers and lenders, and expanding credit in emerging markets that will, in turn, reinforce global economic growth, according to the bank.
Goldman sees copper rising in the next 12 months even after it racked up the biggest gains in eight years over the course of 2017. The metal, seen as a barometer of the world’s economic health, will jump about 12% to $8 000 a metric ton, according to the analysts, a level not seen since 2013.
The forecast establishes Goldman as one of the most bullish Wall Street banks. Citigroup sees copper averaging $7 125 a ton this year and Deutsche Bank at $7 175, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Brent crude will also rise above $80 a barrel within six months as demand outpaces supply that’s been overtightened by producers, Goldman said, in comments that spurred a price rally on Thursday.
Iron ore will gain almost a fifth by the start of May, it said. The bank sees more modest gains for coal on the grounds that consumers are starting to ration use in response to higher prices.
The bullish outlook for commodities comes as European factories boost output to near-record levels and Goldman says its gauge of US financial conditions is the strongest ever. With emerging markets also on a tear, global growth will run at an annualised rate of 5.1%, it said.
Last month, the bank said it favoured copper over metals like aluminium as long lead times to bring new mines online will hamper producers efforts to bring supply to market as prices rise. Zinc producers are also being hamstrung by China’s crackdown on pollution, lending support to prices that are already trading near their highest in more than a decade.