May 3, 2024

Minerals & Energy Outlook: May 2024

We see our NAB commodity index falling substantially in 2024, despite higher forecasts for base metals and gold.


  • Recent commodity price trends have been highly mixed, with base metals and gold increasing sharply, a more modest upward trend for crude oil and steeper declines for bulk commodities. NAB’s Non-rural Commodity Price Index is weighted towards the composition of Australian resources exports, meaning that large falls in steel making commodities – led by iron ore – will drive the index lower in Q2 – currently estimated at -6.8% qoq.
  • The global outlook remains subdued, including for China – the leading consumer of most commodities. Soft domestic consumption and increasing trade tensions (due to the surge in the country’s exports) offer limited growth opportunities.
  • While we have revised our forecasts higher for base metals and gold, we still see our commodity index falling substantially in 2024 – down on average by 12.6%. The change to the outlook for central bank policy rates means a weaker than previously forecast profile for the Australian dollar, meaning that the fall in AUD terms is now 12.0%.

Find out more in the Minerals & Energy Outlook (May 2024)