After finishing 2016 up 25 percent, commodities are getting another boost from bullish investors. Investment bank Citigroup forecasts commodity prices will increase this year on strengthening demand in China and mounting inflation inspired by President Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ policies. Commodity assets under management globally stood at $391 billion in January, up 50 percent from the same time the previous year, according to Citigroup.
Meanwhile, hedge fund managers significantly raised their bets that copper and oil prices have much further to climb, Bloomberg reported, with net-long positions in the Comex and Nymex markets surging to all-time highs.
In addition, global manufacturing activity has expanded for the past six straight months, a good sign for commodities demand going forward. As I shared with you earlier in the week, the global purchasing managers’ index (PMI) advanced to a 69-month high of 52.9 in February, with strong showings from the U. S. and eurozone.
Asia Looking for $26 Trillion: Asian Development Bank
As for China and the rest of Asia, a recent special report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) calculates the cost to modernize the region’s infrastructure at between $22.6 trillion and $26 trillion from 2016 to 2030. This comes out to about $1.7 trillion a year in global investment that’s required to maintain Asia’s growth momentum, deliver power and safe drinking water to millions, connect towns and cities, improve sanitation and more.
As you can see in the chart below, the bulk of the infrastructure need is in East Asia, which is seeking more than $16 trillion between now and 2030.
Governments have devoted funds to support only some of the projects. Currently, 25 economies in the region are spending a combined $881 billion annually on such projects, leaving a substantial spending gap for global investors to fill. This is an unprecedentedly huge opportunity for commodity and materials investors.
This post was published at GoldSeek on 8 March 2017.