2017 Commodities Outlook

Base Metals and Bulk Commodities have exceeded expectations, driven by resilience in the global economy, investment speculation and supply disruptions. The US expansion turned out to be rather lacklustre in 2016, but China avoided a hard landing, while the euro zone defied headwinds to keep a tepid recovery on track. Growth in 2017 is not expected to exhibit a major improvement, with risks ahead including terrorism and geo-political and economic instability. In the most likely scenario, the recovery should broaden, supporting demand for energy and metals used in production. However, caution surrounds future commodity price trends, due to excess supply and the price advances that have already taken place. Confidence is also constrained by US dollar strength (inversely related to commodities, notably Gold, and possible changes to US trade policies under the Donald Trump administration.

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