Futures & Commodities

Gartman: Time for bearishness on commodities behind us

The most interesting commodity: Gartman
The most interesting commodity: Gartman

With oil dropping more than 2 percent Monday and platinum at a 6 1/2-year low, commodity prices are plummeting. One analyst says this might be the perfect time for commodities investors to pounce. (Tweet This)

"I think the time for being bearish for commodities is behind us, but I'm not sure the time for being bullish for commodities is upon us," said Dennis Gartman, editor and publisher of The Gartman Letter.

Trading and mining giant, Glencore saw its shares tumble 26-percent Monday, underscoring the market's pre-existing commodity concerns. The London-based company's collapse could indicate that investors might not be taking a commodities plunge seriously enough.

"I think investors have made mistakes in not getting out of commodity trades long ago," said Gartman.

"The public will probably be a huge seller of everything in the next week or two," he added. "Then the commodities market will have moved from weaker hands into stronger hands."

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Certainly, there's no consensus on when commodities will come out of a steady decline that's gone on since last year.

Analysts at Credit Suisse wrote last week that until Chinese demand and emerging market currencies find a floor, there's no way to predict a base for commodity prices. Credit Suisse analysts pointed to iron ore as facing the greatest downside while copper is expected to hover around the top end of the cost curve until the market moves back into deficit.

That said, Gartman said he thinks investors should expect several months of bottoming, confusion, undue bearishness in the news media, and a repeated testing of lows.

Still, Gartman said that investors should mentally prepare themselves to be buyers of commodities as opposed to sellers, adding that they should be getting ready to own copper, steel, crude oil and grains.

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"I think if investors are pressuring themselves to divest themselves of their commodities trades now, I think they are doing themselves a very serious disservice," Gartman said. "The time for being short is long past."

Last week, Credit Suisse drastically slashed its forecasts for commodity prices, especially for precious metals and base metals, going as far out as 2017.

Also last week, Goldman Sachs warned of a potential drop in shares of Glencore, the Anglo-Swiss mining company, due in part to falling commodity prices. Credit Suisse said on Tuesday that Glencore "has suffered a complete loss of confidence from investors," adding that the sentiment is felt across the metals and mining sector.

Glencore's stock was down about 28 percent in Monday afternoon trading.