2020 was a strong year for the precious metals complex
Gold and silver benefited from demand for capital safe-havens, with prices for both metals up approx. 27% y/y. Palladium prices rallied 43% y/y as it continued to draw support from its tight fundamentals while supply overhang kept platinum’s price gains capped at 2% y/y.
Negative real interest rates are a boon for PM’s prices
Real interest rates are expected to remain low/negative for an extended period, thus reducing the opportunity cost of holding PMs, a non-yielding asset, which should continue to attract interest from investors.
Covid-19 and economic recovery
Vaccines should allow most economies to fully re-open by the end of 2021. Continued Covid-19 containment measures, fiscal and monetary stimulus, and China’s 14th FYP will continue to shape the macroeconomic backdrop.
The dollar will depreciate modestly
Vaccine roll-out may reduce safe-haven demand for the US currency. Estimates of fair value suggest that the dollar remains 5-10% overvalued against the Euro and may enter a correction phase.
Auto sector recovers from Covid-19
The expected strong rebound in global vehicle output is positive for the PGMs demand. Average PGMs loadings are expected to keep rising on the back of the ongoing tightening of the global emissions standards.
Gold – Safe haven status to support prices in 2021
Expectations for the gold price in 2021 are bullish (+7% y/y) as it continues to benefit from its safe-haven status. Rising inflation expectations may further spur purchases of the metal, a popular hedge against inflation shocks
Silver – Further price gains are expected ahead
Silver is expected to be the best performer (+21% y/y) as it finds itself in a rare situation when it can draw strength from both of its identities, that of an industrial commodity and a safe-haven asset
Platinum – 2020’s fundamental deficit is unlikely to be repeated
The recent price rally is mostly driven by temporary drivers and speculative interest. The fundamental weakness of the platinum market is unlikely to dissipate any time soon; hefty surpluses will act as a drag on platinum prices (+5% y/y in 2021).
Palladium – pandemic helps ease market tightness, but not for long
Both automotive and global palladium demand should recover in 2021 and will continue to provide support to prices this year (+5% y/y).
Another strong year for precious metals
After a very strong 2020, 2021 is likely to become another positive year for the precious metals complex; prices of each of the four major precious metals are expected to rise albeit by not as much as last year.Explore this topic with CRU
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