‘Rude awakening’ for commodities in 2014: Pro
Most commodities are headed for sluggish price action in 2014 due to weak global demand, Citigroup's Ed Morse said Monday.
"The period of high prices led to an incredible—in fact, a record—amount of investment on the supply side," he said. "So, we're having significantly more supply across most commodities, and demand is not rising at the rate it was."
On CNBC's "Halftime Report," Citi's global head of commodities research said that a slowdown in Asia would push prices lower.
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"China's not falling apart," he said. "But the fact is that China growing at 7 to 7½ percent is not like China growing at 10 to 12 percent. Here, we have the most significant commodity consumer in the world, responsible for half the amount of thermal coal, half of the amount of copper consumed, and you have that sort of reduction in the growth rate, with the supply side trying to meet the surge in demand that was at a higher percentage level. And the result is much more production capacity, much more inventories and a weighing down of prices across most commodities."
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While Australia has seen record iron ore demand from Asia recently, Morse said that it was not likely to last.
"Steel production in China is forecast to go down," he said. "Pollution controls are shutting down steel production at a rate that is considerably higher than anyone had forecast, so we think that's going to come in for a rude awakening, just as we think copper's going to come in for a rude awakening."
Top commodities for 2014 include palladium and platinum, Morse added.
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Trading around $698 per ounce, palladium has an average forecast for 2014 of $800 per ounce, Morse's research showed. Meanwhile, the precious metal is facing growing demand in the trucking and automobile industries.
"Platinum's not far behind," he added, noting that inventories were on track to be drained by the end of 2015.
"There are bright spots on the commodity horizon," Morse said.