UNITED KINGDOM October 08 2014 1:48 PMTweet
LONDON (Scrap Register): Societe Generale sees a mixed outlook for base metals as a Chinese economic slowdown impacts metals differently, listing itself as most constructive on nickel.
Base metals have been on the defensive since summer, hurt by slowing growth in China, the eurozone and US, perceptions of a more hawkish Federal Reserve and other factors.
SocGen is sticking to their view that increasing copper mining output, which is now well under way, will over time ease the current tightness in the refined market.
While global copper consumption growth is expected to strengthen this year helped by moderately higher global economic growth, serious structural oversupply in China's housing sector and tightened credit conditions are likely to cap both Chinese and global copper consumption growth.
There is scope for the other metals to rally to varying degrees on tightening markets coincident with seasonal demand strength typically associated with Q4. However, as ever, much will depend upon China.
SocGen is most bullish towards nickel. While the refined nickel market remains well supplied at present, this is likely to change from next year. The nickel market has changed dramatically as a result of Indonesia's ban on nickel ore exports, which SocGen expects to be enforced.
This one factor alone is likely to shift the nickel market from structural oversupply to a balanced outcome this year, with sizeable deficits probable over the coming years.