Rabobank 2015 Outlook: Less Price Volatility for Most Commodities Dec. 4, 2014
Rabobank says in its commodity market outlook for 2015 that it expects less volatility in many commodities markets due to "more balanced" fundamentals. On the demand side, it says growth has slowed in recent years, but lower price levels for many markets should encourage growth in demand, which will support prices. Rabobank says key variables to watch in the year ahead are the U.S. dollar index, uncertain Chinese demand growth, slowing biofuel demand and oil price weakness.
Rabobank says the pace of world economic growth has been disappointing during 2014, particularly in the Euro-zone where counter sanctions from Russia have hindered recovery. Rabobank says the UK and U.S. are the bright spots for 2015, but their pace of expansion will be tempered by slow growth elsewhere. Significantly, in 2015 Rabobank expects a downward revision of China's 7.5% annual growth rate.
Additionally, it states that if growing conditions are normal,moderate increases in demand will allow stocks to build for most commodities through 2015. "However, the projected lower price levels through 2015 also provide a great incentive for consumption to exceed the forecast levels. In particular, China's import demand will continue to be one of the most important variables for many agri-commodity markets," it states.
Noting that weather was favorable to ideal for most areas of the country in 2014, Rabobank says forecasts for El Nino to build could cause prices to diverge from its projections listed below:
Live cattle:Bullish cattle price outlook is driven by tight supply and continued strong demand, as the herd is projected to decline by a further 2% to 3% year over year.
Lean hogs: Futures are expected to ease in 2015 as U.S. pork production recovers. They forecast a 3% increase in production from 2014 following the 2013-14 PEDV outbreak.
Cotton: The ICE #2 is expected to remain subdued through 2015, as China's import demand is projected to slow by the most since 2008-09.
Wheat:Wheat prices are expected to stabilize after finding a base early in 2015, as the heavy global balance sheet weighs on the market.
Corn:Corn prices are expected to increase slightly through 2015 as widespread crop storage and declining planted acres will provide some price support.
Soybeans:Prices in 2015 are expected to trade in a tighter range than in previous years as global soybean availability has significantly improved following the record U.S. crop.
Soymeal: Prices in 2015 will be below the high levels of the last two years, but will be supported by strong global demand.Soyoil:Futures are expected to move lower to sideways over the course of 2015, with a stronger bearish move later in the year.