Minerals & Energy Outlook: February 2021

A range of key commodity prices rose in January.

By

Overview

Prices for a range of key commodities rose in January, led by iron ore, hard coking coal and (briefly) liquefied natural gas (LNG). Supply side issues contributed to this increase, with COVID-19 remaining a demand constraint.

  • The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines (primarily in advanced economies) has run behind schedule, increasing the risk of continued economic disruption in the near term.
  • There remains considerable uncertainty around the trade relationship between Australia and China, resulting in a realignment in Asian coal trade – with other suppliers filling previous Australian volumes, which have gone instead to other consumers.
  • The upturn in various commodities presents some upside to our price forecasts for 2021 – which will be subject to revision next month. However, our broad expectations around markets are largely unchanged – with supply constraints in many markets set to unwind, while the removal of policy support in China should lead to weaker demand going forward.

Find out more in the Minerals & Energy Outlook February 2021