In January 2022, amid all the panic seen in the market, with commodity prices trading at unprecedented levels, Mintec made a bold statement. We forecast prices to fall in 2022, while news and market participants signalled the opposite.
Commodity prices have started to fall in most categories, as anticipated by our forecast analysts. Malaysian palm oil prices (Mintec code: CPO1) have dropped by 50% since prices broke above 8,000 MYR/MT in March, while European rapeseed oil prices (Mintec code: RSOR) have declined by over 20% since their peak in April 2022. In markets for industrial materials like metals, LME aluminium prices (Mintec code: LN02) fell by 40% since they reached record levels in March. These declines were also seen across other categories, including Grains and Dairy. Once again, Mintec price forecasts have demonstrated their robustness and reliability, enabling our customers to respond effectively to market developments and make significant cost savings.
In early 2022, Mintec published an article (click here) warning procurement professionals to exercise caution while securing supply in an over-inflationary market. Following the slowdown of the pandemic and the easing of lockdowns, manufacturing activity and the placements of new orders were at their peak, driving commodity prices to record levels. Panic and speculation in the market contributed to the bullish trend, as buyers increased their orders in anticipation of a further price increase.
While the market estimated that commodity prices would continue rising, our price forecasts pointed to an expected downward trend for most commodities in 2022. We forecast commodity prices to fall, following a peak in Q1 and Q2, driven by an expected slowdown in economic activity, gluts in supply and the easing off of supply chain disruptions. As a result, we sent out alerts to our customers to avoid hedging or entering into short-term contracts, and they made substantial savings during this period. As a result of prompt action, they realised considerable cost avoidance during the price increase, as we anticipated and timed the price peak, and cost savings during the fall, given they didn’t contract any longer than Q1 and Q2.
Our price forecast methodology combines macroeconomic indicators with fundamental and technical analysis, allowing us to identify early signals in market changes to support our customers in planning their contracts effectively, both in volume and length.
Currently, our forecasts show a decline until late 2023, with some commodity prices falling into 2024. However, sourcing teams should continue to proceed with caution, as the price downturn will be followed by a temporary price increase between the end of Summer 2022 and early 2023, driven by a small recovery of the economy in the new few months.
The timing of the increase will depend on each commodity. Therefore, we recommend ensuring you have access to reliable price forecasts, so you can monitor these developments closely, as timing and contract length are critical in saving costs and increasing profitability in the near future.