COMMODITIES MARKETS ( 2010 to 2017 )
The worldwide macroeconomic and geopolitical influences will continue to affect gold and the wider precious metals in 2018. Gold continues to be an appealing tool to hedge against likely market volatility and geopolitical risks.
The international energy landscape is evolving. The growing demand of electric cars has a vital impact on future oil demand. However, global oil demand is expected to continue growing in the short to medium term, induced by increasing prosperity in fast-growing developing economies.
As China pushes to improve its air qualities in its major cities by replacing coal with gas and natural gas, its LNG imports rocketed 48 per cent in 2017. It is expected that in 2018, China will continue to absorb large volumes of LNG.
Global movement towards green energy could continue to put downward pressure on coal prices. China, Europe and the United States are making its transition away from coal. Based on IEA forecast, the world will turn more and more to renewables and natural gas for its energy demand, moving away from coal.
Base metals have seen significant gains since 2016. With a positive outlook for demand, base metals are expected to perform well this year. According to the World Bank, the tight supply of base metals should push up prices including lead, nickel and zinc.
In 2018, it is expected that commodity prices will continue to be in the current low-price environment. However, opportunity in export demand from China and the potential adverse weather in a major producing region will have significant impact on the markets.
Strong demand for cocoa, coffee and tea is expected to continue in 2018. Cocoa prices had a poor year in 2017 due to the rising production from Ivory Coast & Ghana, the two major world producers. Despite increasing demand from India & China, cocoa price may still remain under pressure due to supply glut.
As a result of increasing demand from developing markets, palm oil prices are expected to increase in 2018. The world’s second-largest producer, Malaysia, is expected to increase production by 15.5%. A major risk on the palm oil prices is that the EU is planning to ban the use of palm oil in the biofuel production.