ASX: Iron Ore expected to decline to $55 per ton in next five years

Iron ore found short-term support at $90 per ton but this is unlikely to hold and our medium-term target is $80 per ton.

Iron Ore

Bloomberg published an interesting outlook on iron ore this week from Ed Morse, Global Head of Commodities Research at Citigroup:

“Steel demand is no longer going to be what it was,” Morse said in an interview. “No combination of India, Brazil and any other emerging-market country, no matter how big, is going to replace what China did alone,” he said, referring to spike in demand from the nation’s “fixed-asset investment extravaganza,” between the 1990s to 2010.

….Benchmark prices will end this year at the mid-$90s a ton, before falling to $75 at the end of 2020, he said. Five years out, they are seen at $55 a ton — a level that’s still well above current costs of production at the largest miners.

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining index found support at 4100 but the outlook is increasingly bearish. Breach of 4100 would complete a head and shoulders reversal with a target of 3400.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

Given the importance of mining exports to the Australian economy, a fall in iron ore prices would be likely to increase downward pressure on the Aussie Dollar.

The Financial sector, on the other hand, is looking bullish at present, with Trend Index troughs above zero indicating buying pressure, in response to improved auction clearance rates. But housing woes are far from over and we expect them to remain a drag on growth for the next three to five years.

ASX 200 Financials

The ASX 200 continues to edge upwards, heading for another test of resistance at its 2007 high of 6800. Hanging man candles over the last three weeks warn of profit-taking, which is slowing the rally’s progress. Expect stubborn resistance at 6800. Reversal below 6400 would warn of a decline to test primary support at 5400.

ASX 200

We increased exposure to Australian equities, to 25% of portfolio value, this week but with an increased focus on defensive stocks, because of our bearish outlook.