John Robertson

Global growth rates anchored at less than 4% imply that metal inventories continue to rise for the foreseeable future. There is no near term cyclical upturn. Growth and exchange rates have been moving in the wrong direction for a cyclical improvement in metal markets. This week’s PortfolioDirect investment report highlights their impact on the duration of the cycle. (VIEW LINK) The report references another downward revision to the global growth forecasts from the International Monetary Fund in January. The Fund now expects medium term growth to stabilise at less than 4% against a 2000-08 average of 4.3% after a 3.4% outcome in 2016. Downside risks remain. To illustrate the impact, PortfolioDirect has modelled a range of potential outcomes and estimated that copper usage in 2018 may be nearly one million tonnes lower under the current IMF growth scenario than if the 2000-08 growth outcomes were being replicated. This implies a correspondingly more drawn out cyclical adjustment than the forecasts currently underpinning may investment decisions by mining companies.


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