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Goldman Sachs raises 12-month commodity returns forecast

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Goldman Sachs on Monday raised its 12-month commodity returns forecast by 3 per cent to 6.4 per cent citing an improved outlook for oil after an the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) led agreement to curb output further as well as agriculture sector supply concerns.

[BENGALURU] Goldman Sachs on Monday raised its 12-month commodity returns forecast by 3 per cent to 6.4 per cent citing an improved outlook for oil after an the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) led agreement to curb output further as well as agriculture sector supply concerns.

"Policy clarity" after the US-China trade deal and the British elections could trigger commodity demand, analysts at the bank said in a note.

"However, the structural supply problems that have discouraged investment in commodity production remain: poor company returns, too much debt and environmental liabilities".

Washington and Beijing cooled their trade war last week, reducing some US tariffs in exchange for what US officials said would be a big jump in Chinese purchases of US farm products and other goods.

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After winning a majority in the UK election last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to "get Brexit done" by Jan 31 and then agree a new trade deal with the European Union by the end of 2020.

Goldman forecast returns of 1.7 per cent, 4.7 per cent and 6.4 per cent on its S&P GSCI commodity index for three months, six months and 12 months, respectively. Over the 12-month horizon, Goldman saw returns of 9.1 per cent from energy, 7.7 per cent for precious metals, and 7.9 per cent for the livestock sector.

Benchmark Brent crude oil prices have rallied this year, supported by production curbs by Opec and its allies, who this month agreed to lower output by a further 500,000 barrels per day as of Jan 1.

"As the focus becomes very near-term and open-ended, the cuts to production could be deeper with Opec delivering credible and observable threats to 'cheaters'," the bank said.

"With a near-term focus, backwardation rises and so do returns. We are raising our oil returns forecast to 15 per cent from 9.7 per cent even though we see oil prices trading sideways in 2020."

The bank had earlier raised its 2020 oil price forecasts citing tighter-than-expected inventories after the Opec-led agreement.

REUTERS