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Jefferies paints bullish picture for 2022 metals markets

The outlook for metals markets in 2022 is bullish despite recent covid flare ups, with global production likely to miss expectations even as demand bounces back, investment bank Jefferies said on Sunday.
Jefferies paints bullish picture for 2022 metals markets Jefferies paints bullish picture for 2022 metals markets Jefferies paints bullish picture for 2022 metals markets Jefferies paints bullish picture for 2022 metals markets Jefferies paints bullish picture for 2022 metals markets

"We are bullish on mining for 2022 based on fundamental factors and valuations," Jefferies said in a note entitled: "Same old song and dance for 2022".

"We are most constructive on the base metals, and especially copper and aluminium, while we are most cautious on iron ore and coal."

Jefferies forecast a massive shift in Chinese demand. The old drivers of Chinese economic growth, industry and the copper sector, are set to go into decline, while demand from the new economy sector rises. "We expect changes in the Chinese economy to lead to a shift from steel, iron ore and coal to copper, nickel, aluminium, and other 'energy transition' metals."

Jefferies was upbeat on economic recovery, as developed economies continue to grow. "In addition, an emerging market demand recovery, possibly in response to higher vaccination rates, would be very bullish and could blindside the bears in 2022."

"Higher vaccination rates in emerging economies could lead to a strong recovery in global demand that is simply not priced in, based on our analysis."

Supply, meanwhile, is expected to be lower than markets are pricing in, Jefferies said. "A year ago, we heard strong pushback on our below-consensus supply forecasts for most commodities."

"It turns out that our 2021 [copper] mine supply forecast from a year ago is now likely to have been ~500kt too high."

And Jefferies expects copper production to fall short of expectations again, warning that the "long-awaited tsunami of supply" could fail to materialise.

"We expect copper production misses combined with rising demand to lead to higher prices."

"Other base metals and PGMs should also benefit from improving demand and constrained supply."

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