Jeff Currie, who spearheaded commodities research at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for almost three decades, remains bullish on the sector for this year.
Demand for raw materials is at record levels, inventories are low, and spare production capacity is largely “exhausted,” the veteran analyst said in an interview with Bloomberg television. Copper, which drifted sideways for much of 2023, has the greatest scope for gains, he added.
“The set up for all of these markets is better than it was last year,” and if central banks proceed with interest rate cuts “you’re teeing yourself up for a fantastic 2024,” Currie said. “This is just classic ‘own commodities.’”
Oil prices slumped 10% last year in their worst annual performance since the 2020 pandemic, as booming crude production in the US and elsewhere overwhelmed record consumption. Brent futures have had a shaky start to 2024, trading near $77 a barrel.
Crude traders are reluctant to take a strong view after suffering losses last year, but conditions should change, Currie predicts. The “immaculate disinflation” and production surge that weighed on oil markets in 2023 is unlikely to be repeated this year, he said.
Currie said his next career move will be related to the energy transition, but hasn’t yet been finalized. He left the Wall Street titan last August after an extensive career in which he cemented a reputation for bold and often bullish calls.
He rose to fame after correctly predicting the China-driven commodities boom of the 2000s and that decade’s surge in oil prices. Currie subsequently had less luck repeating the feat after outlining reasons in late-2020 for another supercycle that could last a decade.