(Bloomberg) -- Bank of China International Ltd. sees natural gas as the star performer in an otherwise bleak commodities outlook, with zinc and aluminum offering the best prospects among metals.
“Some companies think gas has fallen from its peak, but there’s a risk for some squeeze over the winter,” said Xiao Fu, the London-based head of commodity strategy, adding it could outperform in the next one or two years.
See also: Global Gas Scramble Intensifies After Europe Pipeline Blasts
Russia’s move to restrict supply to key customers across Europe has kept natural gas prices elevated. There’s been a pullback from a record high for European prices in August, but a colder-than-normal winter or another unforeseen supply disruption could send prices surging again.
Commodities have been whipsawed this year, with prices initially surging following the invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent economic sanctions on Russia, a top global supplier of energy and raw materials. Then, rapid interest-rate hikes to combat inflation and a soaring dollar sent commodities into a tailspin amid mounting fears of recession. The Bloomberg Commodity Spot Index plunged to the lowest level in eight months last week.
While no individual commodity has a particularly positive outlook, aluminum and zinc are likely to perform relatively well among base metals as they are “resilient and will get more support from disruptions in Europe,” Fu said. Despite bearish sentiment in the short term, she sees promising demand for some metals in the next few quarters as the green-energy focus intensifies.
Commodities have been caught in a negative feedback loop driven by higher US rates relative to the rest of the world, dollar gains, and weaker non-US economic growth, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The oil market is in deficit, and set to tighten further as winter nears, the head of commodities research Jeffrey Currie said in a Bloomberg television interview last week.
Other comments from Fu:
- The impact of the yuan’s depreciation on China’s imports will be limited as demand is mainly driven by domestic economic activity
- Given the increased correlation between base metals and global equity markets, a significant drop in equities will spill over negatively to base metals
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.