Tags: Gratton | commodity | supercycle | pause

Commodity Supercycle: The Pause Before the Storm?

By John Morgan   |   Tuesday, 20 Nov 2012 07:59 AM

Canada’s top mining official believes the global commodity supercycle is not over, but rather it’s just on pause before it comes roaring back to life.

Pierre Gratton, president of the Mining Association of Canada (MAC), insisted in The Globe and Mail that renewed record demand for commodities from Asia is on the horizon.

“Having been in this business now for 13 years, there is a very significant difference between the mood in this downturn and the kind of attitude and the kind of mood that I used to see in 2000 and 2001,” Gratton said, adding that he expects continued favorable sentiment among industry players to be a positive.

Editor's Note: The ‘Unthinkable’ Could Happen — Wall Street Journal. Prepare for Meltdown

Commodity prices have sagged in recent months, hurt by fears a global economic recovery is fading, according to The Globe and Mail. Prices were under particular pressure last week on reports the eurozone is back in a recession and on uncertainty whether the U.S. fiscal cliff can be avoided.

Large players, such as Barrick Gold, Silver Wheaton and Centerra Gold, have been affected adversely of late. Vancouver’s Teck Resources Ltd. last month announced a one-year delay on $1.5 billion in capital spending due to slowing demand.

But members of MAC, which includes some of the world’s largest miners, claim the commodity supercycle is just taking a breather, The Globe and Mail reported.

Gratton noted that in 2008, recovery in particular in coal and copper prices came quickly.

Gratton said MAC members are confident that China’s economic growth is far from over, and that potential for massive new commodity demand from India is encouraging, at least in the long term. “That’s why the industry remains bullish,” he said.

However, Citigroup, in a report took a much dimmer view of the commodity supercycle, pronouncing it dead for now, according to Bloomberg.

Edward Morse, the bank’s global head of commodity research, said, “It is now clear that the commodity supercycle is over. No longer will a pure long-only strategy bring the returns expected in 2002 to 2008. Nor will conditions approximating those of the last decade return any time soon.”

Separately, Bloomberg also reported hedge funds cut bullish commodity bets for a sixth straight week last week, the longest slump since the depths of the global recession four years ago, on mounting concern that economies are slowing.

Editor's Note: The ‘Unthinkable’ Could Happen — Wall Street Journal. Prepare for Meltdown

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