Key commodities trends to look out for in 2019
With 2018 coming to a close and 2019 rapidly approaching, we thought it would be a good idea to ask our economists a few questions regarding key commodities about trends they saw in 2018 and what they project for 2019. Below are their answers:
Aluminium: China's stimulus plan to support demand in 2019
What key trends did you see in the aluminium market in 2018?
Prices for aluminium have been on a largely downward trend in 2018, interrupted only by a sharp and short-lived upturn in April. U.S. sanctions on Russian aluminum giant, Rusal, one of the biggest producers worldwide, drove up prices to a multi-year high on 18 April. However, the delayed imposition of the sanctions and increasing likelihood that Rusal will avoid measures altogether have cut fears of supply shortages and staved off upward price pressures. Moreover, China’s slowing growth, exacerbated by the tit-for-tat trade war with the U.S., has seen demand for the metal weaken. The resulting supply-demand dynamics have pushed down prices.
What key trends do you predict for the aluminium market in 2019?
Aluminium prices are expected to recover somewhat next year, as China’s stimulus plan supports demand for the metal. Price gains will be likely be limited, however, due to ample supply. As of our November edition, FocusEconomics sees aluminium prices averaging USD 2,146 per metric ton in Q4 2019.
- Economist Nihad Ahmed
Tin: Mid-term outlook for prices remains bright
Key trends over 2018
Tin has had a challenging 2018 so far, with the price of the metal down nearly 10% on a year-to-date basis at the end of November. A marked increase in tin supply in the first nine months of the year by the world’s largest exporter—Indonesia—has weighed on the price of the metal. This was only partly offset by a downturn in tin production in China, which remains the world’s largest consumer of the metal, as well as by falling exports of tin from Myanmar. In addition, softer growth dynamics in China this year, in part due to the ongoing and intensifying trade war with the U.S. has taken a toll on Chinese manufacturing growth and weighed on demand for the metal.
Trends to watch for in 2019
Looking ahead, despite ongoing trade tensions and the associated cooling in Chinese demand, the mid-term outlook for tin prices remains bright. Favorable demand prospects stemming from the metal’s usability in new technologies such as electric vehicles, robotics and renewable energy, as well as limited tin supply—partly due to expected output cuts across some of the major tin producers—should more than offset any downward pressures to prices due to ongoing global trade tensions and a slowdown in the Chinese economy. FocusEconomics panelists see the price of tin averaging USD 20,155 per metric ton in Q4 2019 as of our November Commodities report.
- Economist Almanas Stanapedis
Coal: Demand from Asia expected to cool in 2019
Key trends over 2018
Over late spring and the summer, prices for thermal coal—which is used as an energy source for air conditioning and industrial cooling—rose on supply-chain concerns and unseasonably hot weather across Asia and Europe. Simultaneously, however, the Chinese government continued its crackdown on polluting industries and prices have consequently been on a general downwards trajectory since late August.
Trends to watch for in 2019
Demand from Asia—particularly China and Japan—is expected to cool next year, in part due to the multi-year high level of thermal coal prices and in part due to a move towards cleaner energy sources.
- Economist Jan Lammersen
Silver: Industrial demand to remain robust in 2019
Key trends over 2018
Silver prices were depressed overall over the course of 2018. This was primarily the result of a surplus market due to recovering mining production. Meanwhile, weaker purchasing of jewelry, coins, and bars—coupled with impressive gains in stock markets—subdued demand dynamics in comparison to 2017, despite a strong industrial market.
Trends to watch for in 2019
Next year, industrial demand in the automotive and electronics sectors should remain robust, which should in turn support a rise in silver prices following a disappointing 2017. Risks include global trade tensions, higher global interest rates and the possibility of slower-than-expected growth in China.
Companies to watch in the silver market in 2019
Keep an eye on Fresnillo, the world’s largest silver producer. This year the company has been troubled with lower-than-expected output and has downgraded its 2018 full-year production forecasts twice, most recently following weaker production in the third quarter. More concerning for their outlook is heightened uncertainty over the impact of newly-elected Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), after several bills were recently put forth by Mexican legislators that could require indigenous communities’ consent on future mining concessions and would allow the Ministry of Economy to retract current mining permits that are having a negative social impact. This move led Morgan Stanley to cut its rating for the company’s stock on 22 November.
- Economist Lindsey Ice
Platinum: Decline in diesel vehicle sales to dampen prices in 2019
Trends to watch for in 2019
Platinum has had a soft 2018, largely on the back of drooping demand for diesel vehicles—which require platinum—and a substantial market surplus of the commodity, even though global production is expected to decline from 2017. Meanwhile, prices for sister metal palladium surged, which will have been particularly galling for platinum investors.
Companies to watch in the silver market in 2019
Although supply should pick up slightly on higher output from North America, while demand is also set to rise, the ongoing decline in sales of diesel vehicles will dampen any increase in prices. The upshot is that the supply overhang should gradually narrow, which will be positive for prices. Our panelists currently see platinum prices at USD 928 per troy ounce in Q4 2019.
- Economist Oliver Reynolds
5-year economic forecasts for 127 countries & 30 commodities.
Date: December 7, 2018
TagsTPPColombiaTradeEuropean UnionInfographicGermanyJapanRussiaGoldBase Metals CommoditiesSpainG7HealthcareUnited StatesBrexitUkraineEastern EuropeEconomic Growth (GDP)InflationChinaEnergy CommoditiesIMFAfricaAustraliaEmerging MarketsForexUnited KingdomConsensus ForecastCommoditiesHousing MarketPortugalItalyTunisiaMENANordic EconomiesUSAGreeceSouth AfricaIranOPECBitcoinExchange RateAsiaBrazilMajor Economiesprecious metalsPrecious Metals CommoditiesCompany NewsTurkeyAgricultural CommoditiesArgentinaEuro AreaIndiaCryptocurrencyVietnamSub-Saharan AfricaUnemployment rateInvestmentEurozoneVenezuelaOilLatin AmericaUKFranceBanking SectorMexicooil pricesCanada
Vietnam: Exports and FDI inflows will likely be resilient om 2019 despite headwinds from slower global growth and U… https://t.co/mLTmClvnnL
1 hour ago
Economic growth in Indonesia will be firm this year, underpinned by domestic demand. Read more: https://t.co/vGW55A2zob
7 hours ago
22 hours ago
Nigeria's economy is expected to gain steam this year on the back of stronger household consumption and fixed inves… https://t.co/05V461K0WX
23 hours ago
Economic momentum in India is expected to remain steady next fiscal year, which starts in April. Read more: https://t.co/JNeqoY4fcN
1 day ago
- Brexit Scenarios: Consensus of 14 Economic Analysts
- Sweden just formed a new government and approved its 2019 budget: what does it mean for the economy?
- Which countries have the highest public debt levels?
- Predictions for the global economy in 2019 from 13 experts
- Gurdgiev: Predictions for the global economy in 2019
- Daniel Lacalle's ideas for 2019: Change of cycle.
- Vietnam Poised to Profit from Free Trade Agreement Opportunities
- Canada in 2019: Interview with a Top Economic Forecaster
- Pound Sterling 2019 Exchange Rate: Projections from Leading Analysts
- Expectations for Latin America’s Economy in 2019
- Ethiopia and Rwanda: From Destruction to Development
- Key commodities trends to look out for in 2019
- What drove Gulf neighbors to bail out Bahrain?
- The Four Financial Bubbles and Their Impact on the U.S. Economy
- The Poorest Countries in the World
- Italy: The sick man of Europe
- What does Bolsonaro's presidential win mean for Brazil's economic outlook?
- The World's Top 10 Largest Economies
- In Latin America, taxpayers are tapped to shoulder the burden of a bank bailout
- How and when will the next financial crisis happen? - 26 experts weigh in
- China and Africa: A partnership under the spotlight
- The conditions are ripe for a Global Financial Crisis 2.0
- Uncertainty, instability and fear haunt a generation of Argentinians
- 5 things: What to expect for Mexico's economy in 2019
- 5 things: Brazil's economic downturn and what to expect going forward
- Emerging Market Currency Crisis: Everything you need to know
- Which ASEAN countries are most exposed in the event of a U.S.-China trade war?
- 75 Top Economics Influencers to Follow
- Emerging Markets Economic Outlook 2018 and 2019
- The Faces Behind Latin America’s Key Institutions
- 2019 Economic Outlook for the Top Oil Producing Countries
- Is your cup of coffee about to get more expensive going in to 2019?
- The Economic Implications of an Aging Global Population
- Can the Wisdom of the Crowds predict the results of the 2018 World Cup?
- Railway Mania: The Largest Speculative Bubble You’ve Never Heard Of
- From Riches to Rags: Have Cryptocurrencies Crashed for Good?
- Investment looks to Latin America, but forecasts are not encouraging
- Turkey: Erdogan has cemented his grip on power - now what about the economy?
- How can Latin America’s business environment benefit from technological change?
- Mexico: A look at the past, present and future as elections yield AMLO victory
- Italy’s New Populist Government and the Eurozone: Prelude to a Crisis?
- Latin America moves toward increased integration as U.S. protectionism grows
- How can Latin America increase productivity without affecting the quality of employment?
- How will Saudi Arabia's economy benefit from lifting the women's driving ban?
- Which countries are the most prepared for the upcoming digital revolution?
- India Under Pressure from the U.S. on Trade Policy
- The Story of Steel
- Latin America is the World Leader in eCommerce Growth Despite Serious Challenges
- What the TPP means for trade in Latin America
- Elections in Russia: Analysis and Implications
- Nearly a Third of Latin Americans Have No Right to a Pension
- A Look at Healthcare Models Around the World
- Newly-elected Chilean President Sebastian Piñera faces a myriad of challenges - economic and otherwise
- The Economic Effects of Trade Protectionism
- Regional Disparity: The Dark Side of Inequality in Latin America
- Coal: The story of the world's most abundant fossil fuel
- Gold: The Most Precious of Metals (Part 3)
- Venezuela's Electoral Conundrum
- Trump's 1st Year: 95 Analysts Surveyed on U.S. Economy
- The Latest on China and What's in Store for 2018
- An in-depth look at the Eurozone’s booming economy and the challenges that lurk in the shadows
- Increasing poverty in Latin America takes a breather thanks to improving economic dynamics
- What will be the most miserable economies in 2018?
- Is Spain doing enough to address its high youth unemployment rate?
- Has Latin America gone far enough in reducing barriers to international trade?
- Commodities Outlook: Oil, Natural Gas, Coal, Lead & Tin
- 21 experts tell us what the future looks like for cryptocurrencies and blockchain
- Turkish lira plummets to all-time low on Erdogan’s monetary feud and tense U.S.-Turkey relations
- Copper: The first metal mastered by man
- Nigerian Economy Still Treading Water Thanks to Oil Sector
- The Mercosur-EU Free Trade Agreement: Obstacles & Opportunities
- Elections in Chile: What the results could mean for the economy
- QE’s Untold Story: A Chart That Fed Correspondents Need To Investigate
- Holland’s fragile one-seat majority government targets economic growth at the expense of fiscal sustainability
- South Africa: Economy at a tipping point?
- Latin American Commodities: What’s behind the increase in demand and prices?
- Is the UK really "shackled to a corpse"?
- Spain-Catalonia: 7 economic experts weigh in on how the situation will affect the outlook
- How well is Spain's labor market doing since the crisis?
- Which countries will have the highest and lowest inflation in 2017?
- How vulnerable is Latin America to economic crises today?
- Iron ore facts and common questions answered
- The bulging economic costs of obesity
- How much investment is needed to salvage Latin America’s crumbling infrastructure?
- A Look at the Potential Impact of Brexit on the Dutch Economy
- Emerging Markets Are Kicking Into Higher Gear In 2017
- Why is foreign direct investment in Latin America falling again?
- Are Central Banks Nationalising the Economy?
- Bounty or burden? The impact of refugees on European economies is far from clear
- What’s the future of U.S.-Latin America trade relations?
- Taxes or cutbacks? Latin America's challenge of sustaining spending without causing debt to skyrocket
- Are uranium prices making a comeback?
- Taxing the Economy: Achieving a Delicate Balance
- How will Latin America’s upcoming lengthy election cycle affect the reform agenda and credit ratings?
- How will emerging market economies perform in 2017?
- Chilean Economy in Focus: Interview with Senior Economist of the Chamber of Commerce of Santiago
- CEOs Rank Top Economies for Growth Opportunities
- The Mobile Ecosystem & Latin America's Economy
- Prospects and Challenges for the Global Economy: Interview with Tim Cooper from BMI Research
- How will the Fed reduce its balance sheet & and how will the ECB end QE? - 19 economic experts weigh in
- Thoughts on "unwinding" QE from Frances Coppola
- The Fed and ECB at a crossroads: Unwinding QE
- Spain: The economy that continues to silence the critics
- Latin America: The Most Unequal Region in the World
- The History of OPEC: Has it been a Success?
- FocusEconomics Announces 2017 Analyst Forecast Awards Winners
- Latin America’s rising unemployment bucks nearly decade long trend
- Escape from the Central Bank Trap by Daniel Lacalle
- China's economic rebalancing act: What to look out for in 2017
- Driving Growth in Latin America: Challenges & Priorities
- Is the Global Economy Rebalancing?
- Commodity exporters face challenging times
- Recent Global Events Facilitate Mercosur-Pacific Alliance
- 23 economic experts weigh in: Why is productivity growth so low?
- Mexico's outlook as Trump nears 100-day mark
- Interview with Oxford Economics Senior Economist on implications of the possible outcomes of the French Presidential Election
- The anxiety of the small saver in a world of negative interest rates
- Brexit negotiations. Between Uncertainty and Urgency
- An Economic History of the EU from El Blog Salmón
- Baby Boomin': Implications of high population growth in Latin America
- Survey of International Economists Predicts a Le Pen Defeat in French Elections, Says Macron has Best Economic Plan
- Spain in a global context: developed economy with some challenges
- How much is crime costing Latin America?
- Predictions & Estimates from Economist Daniel Lacalle
- What economy will the new Dutch government inherit?
- “The data is not a true reflection of reality in India” Interview with Société Générale India Economist
- What are the prospects for Emerging Economies in 2017?
- What to expect in Asia for 2017
- Top Economics & Finance Blogs of 2017
- Latam to Resume Moderate Growth in 2017 but Important Risks Plague Outlook
- 4 Key European Elections That Will Impact the Economy in 2017
- How are security concerns and political chaos affecting Turkey’s economy?
- Global growth to edge up in 2017
- Set to breach targets again? Debt and deficit outlooks for Southern European Eurozone countries in 2016 & 2017
- What does Donald Trump mean for the U.S. economy?
- How will emerging markets perform in 2017?
- The economic impact of a break in U.S.-Philippines ties
- Trump election: Base metals surge due to infrastructure plan
- 5 updates on the Venezuelan economic crisis
- Canada: When your neighbor’s house is on fire…
- Short-term pain before long-term gain? A look at French labor reform and economic growth
- Asia: Unremarkable growth & unfulfilled promises?
- How India's latest monsoon is affecting the economy
- Innovation in Latin America: Potential Goes Untapped Due to Weak Economic Conditions
- Russian economy update in wake of OPEC deal announcement
- The Wisdom of the Crowds and the Consensus Forecast
- Can the peso predict the U.S. election results?
- There's no end in sight to the Venezuela crisis
- A Look at the European Union Political Calendar
- Survey of international economists shows uncertainty surrounding elections damaging U.S. growth prospects
- FocusEconomics partners with leading online statistics provider Statista
- China: Recent postive economic data may be papering over the cracks
- Sub-Saharan Africa's 2016 & 2017 growth rates
- The Italian Dilemma: Weak banks pose risk to already faltering domestic demand
- How much money do migrants from Latin America send home?
- The U.S.' (Not So) Mysterious Case of the Missing Men
- What to expect from the G20 economies by 2020
- The Pain in Spain: Robust GDP growth cannot mask the persistent structural deficit