2016 Fearless Gold Sector Forecast : Stay The Hell Away

Build Your Gold Watch List – but keep your portfolio in other sectors :

This past year was one of the worst ever for large mining companies, which suffered because of falling commodity prices and high leverage. They needed cash badly, and the streaming companies were more than happy to provide it. Mining giants such as Barrick Gold Corp., Glencore Plc, Teck Resources Ltd. and Vale SA all sold streams in 2015.

For junior or producing gold companies and their investors, the range of forecasts and continued volatility suggest it’s wiser to ignore the crystal balls for now and instead focus on what companies can control, like ensuring a sound business plan, keeping their balance sheets strong, monitoring costs, and building value for their shareholders.

Trends are against gold:

1) no inflation can be detected

2) rising interest rates offer a money making alternative while we watch and wait

3) global unrest in the middle East, Africa and Ukraine continue unabated but don’t move the panic button to ” buy”

4) Peter Schiff continues to see gold at $5,000  ( our best contrarian indicator )

This is the time of year when analysts roll out their economic forecasts for the New Year. For those who keep a close eye on gold prices, this can be a painful process.

It’s been another tough 12 months for the yellow metal, with prices falling for the third consecutive year — down about 10 per cent in 2015 alone. Prices touched a high in the neighbourhood of $1,300 and, as the year drew to close, they neared six-year lows around $1050.

That’s a big dive from the heady days of 2011, when gold hit over $1,900 an ounce.

What made things even more difficult for the sector in 2015 was the price volatility. Just when it appeared prices might be on a firm trajectory upward, they would then fall, creating more uncertainty among everyone from investors to gold companies.

That volatility is making it harder for prognosticators to estimate 2016 prices with any certainty. It’s the proverbial attempt to nail Jell-O to a wall.

That doesn’t prevent them from trying. But the resounding lack of consensus suggests it is a fraught exercise. Some are breathlessly proclaiming we’re on the brink of a new gold bull market. On the flip side, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan predict it will fall to the psychologically important $1,000 US-per-ounce level — or lower — in 2016. Bank of America Merrill Lynch believes it will average $950 an ounce in early 2016 before recovering. Slightly more optimistic forecasters, like HSBC, predict gold will average $1,205 next year.

Gold is different from other metals in that its prices are not driven largely by typical supply and demand. While the prices of other metals, like copper or silver, tend to rise and fall as economies grow and shrink, a lot of different forces affect gold’s price. It’s used as a store of wealth, unlike most other metals (you don’t store copper to get rich), and it’s considered a “safe haven” — used as a hedge against political and economic uncertainty.

Inflation and the U.S. dollar are two major forces behind gold’s prices. In 2015, they didn’t work in gold’s favour. The collapse of the price of oil has kept inflation in check, which is bad for gold because of its role as a hedge against rising prices. The U.S. dollar has been strong — another blow for gold, which performs contrary to the greenback. Some say one of the reasons for the strong dollar was ongoing speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve would raise rates for the first time in almost a decade. The Fed did that on Dec. 16, but there was minimal impact on gold due to the central bank’s dovish approach of a gradual tightening of future rates.

 

The dark side of metal streaming deals: Strapped mining companies trade future value for cash ( Financial Post )

 

In September, Robert Quartermain did something highly unusual for a mining executive — he signed a streaming deal with an early exit strategy.

Precious metal streaming companies looking to team up to tackle bigger deals

Valerian Mazataud/Bloomberg

Overwhelmed by the sheer volume of opportunities available in volatile commodity markets, precious-metal “streaming” companies are looking to team up to take on large acquisitions that they might not be able to readily afford on their own.

Continue reading.
Quartermain, the CEO of Vancouver-based Pretium Resources Inc., was alarmed at how much value miners are giving away in gold and silver stream sales, in which future output is sold at below-market prices in exchange for an instant cash infusion.

So when he sold a US$150-million stream on Pretium’s Brucejack project in British Columbia, he insisted that the deal include buyback options for Pretium in 2018 and 2019, and that it cap the number of gold and silver ounces that can be sold.

“When you start putting in higher levels of streaming, and the stream lasts forever, then the potential upside starts going to streaming holders and (away from) your existing shareholders,” Quartermain said in an interview.

This will go down as the biggest year ever for metal streaming deals, and it’s not even close. Miners have raised US$4.2 billion from 11 stream sales in 2015, according to Financial Post data. That is nearly double the US$2.2 billion raised in 2013, which is the second biggest year on record.

For the most part, mining analysts and investors have cheered these deals. But their sheer number has caused alarm for some observers, who worry that miners are giving away vast amounts of future upside once metal prices improve.

The metal streaming business was created back in 2004. In these transactions, a streaming company like Silver Wheaton Corp. gives a mining company an upfront cash payment. In return, it gets the right to buy a fixed amount of precious metals production from the miner at a fixed price that is far below the market price. The streamer can then sell the metal for a profit. The biggest players in this business are Silver Wheaton, Franco-Nevada Corp. and Royal Gold Inc.

This past year was one of the worst ever for large mining companies, which suffered because of falling commodity prices and high leverage. They needed cash badly, and the streaming companies were more than happy to provide it. Mining giants such as Barrick Gold Corp., Glencore Plc, Teck Resources Ltd. and Vale SA all sold streams in 2015.
On the surface, these deals made a lot of sense for mining companies. Their stock prices are so depressed that they do not want to even think about issuing equity. And the last thing this sector needs is to take on more debt. So they sold future metal production instead.

“When companies are between a rock and a hard place, they often sell what’s good because they can’t sell what’s bad,” said John Tumazos, an independent analyst.

The problem is that streams destroy much of the future “option value” for mining companies. Since the streaming metal is typically sold at fixed prices far below the market price, the streamers get all the benefit when market prices go up.

To take an extreme example, Silver Wheaton was buying silver from some mining companies at less than US$4 a pound in 2011, when silver prices rose to almost US$50. It was a massive transfer of wealth from mining companies to a streaming company.

Another concern is that streams can eliminate the exploration upside from a mine. If a miner has agreed to sell a fixed percentage of gold or silver production from a mine to a streamer, it will have to sell more metal if it makes a new discovery on the property and boosts production.

When companies are between a rock and a hard place, they often sell what’s good because they can’t sell what’s bad
John Ing, president and gold analyst at Maison Placements Canada, said streaming is reminiscent of hedging, in which metal is sold in fixed-price contracts. Hedging was all the rage in the gold industry in the 1990s, when prices were low. But it became a massive liability once prices rose far above the value in the contracts. Barrick had to spend more than $5 billion to unwind its hedge book in 2009.

Eventually, hedging became a toxic word in the industry. It is almost nonexistent today.

“It wasn’t until the price of gold went up that everybody realized what Barrick was leaving on the table,” Ing said.

“The same thing is going to happen (to streaming) when the price of gold goes up again. Not until then will people focus on the dark side of the streams.”

For investors that don’t like streaming, the good news is that miners are starting to preserve more upside for themselves in these transactions.

For example, Barrick struck a US$610-million stream sale with Royal Gold last August that guarantees higher sale prices down the road. For the first 550,000 gold ounces and 23.1 million silver ounces that Barrick delivers to Royal Gold, it receives 30 per cent of the prevailing spot prices. For every ounce after that, it receives 60 per cent of the spot prices. So if silver prices go up, Barrick stands to benefit.
Pretium Resources Inc.

Pretium’s Brucejack project in British Columbia.
Pretium went even further by negotiating optional buybacks of its stream and capping the total amount of gold and silver to be sold. If Pretium discovers more metal at the Brucejack project, it won’t go into the stream.

Traditional streaming companies like Silver Wheaton and Royal Gold are looking to buy streams that will last for decades, so Pretium’s deal is not for them. Instead, Pretium sold the stream to two private equity firms, Orion Resource Partners and Blackstone Group.

These companies are just looking for a good return and are not bothered by the idea of having their stream re-purchased in a few years. That is a relatively new concept in streaming, and it could be a game-changer if more private equity firms and other players decide to compete with traditional streamers.

Quartermain said his deal is proof that miners have alternatives to conventional streaming. He hopes other companies will follow Pretium’s lead and try to maintain some upside in these deals.

“We’ve shown you can, even in challenging markets, finance good projects and achieve that upside for shareholders,” he said.

 

 

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Iron Ore in $30s Seen Near Tipping Point for Largest Miners

  • Big Four’s highest-cost mines pressured: Capital Economics
  • Miners’ shares retreat, with BHP sliding to lowest in 10 years

Iron ore’s tumble into the $30s threatens the world’s biggest miners as prices approach break-even costs, according to Capital Economics Ltd. BHP Billiton Ltd. shares slumped to the lowest in 10 years and Rio Tinto Group dropped to the lowest since 2009.

The most expensive operations at the four largest suppliers are on the verge of making losses at rates below $40 a metric ton, said John Kovacs, senior commodities economist at Capital Economics in London, who estimates their break-even levels at $28 to $39, taking into account freight and other costs. While these producers will keep output strong, they’ll be constrained by low prices, he said by e-mail on Monday.

Iron ore’s plunge below $40 comes as producers including Vale SA in Brazil and Rio and BHP in Australia press on with expansions to cut costs and defend market share just as demand from the largest consumer China slows. They’re the world’s biggest suppliers along with Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. Prices of the raw material have lost 45 percent this year and have plunged 80 percent from their peak in 2011.

“The big four will find it hard to maintain output at below $40,” Kovacs said in response to questions. “If prices remain weak, output from the highest-cost mines of the big four will be under pressure.”

Price Sinks

Ore with 62 percent content delivered to Qingdao sank 1.1 percent to $38.65 a dry ton on Monday, a record low in daily prices compiled by Metal Bulletin Ltd. dating back to May 2009. The raw material peaked at $191.70 in 2011.

Kovacs said that while rates will stay low over the next year, he doesn’t believe they’ll remain below $40 for a significant length of time. He expects prices to recover slowly because demand won’t fall much further and the biggest miners will find it difficult to keep up output at these levels.

Mining company shares retreated. BHP declined 5.2 percent to A$17.05 in Sydney, the lowest since 2005. Rio dropped 4.3 percent to the lowest in more than six years and Fortescue closed 3 percent lower. Top producer Vale closed at an 11-year low in Sao Paulo on Monday.

UBS Group AG estimates that of the four biggest producers, Fortescue has the highest break-even cost of $40 and Vale’s is $34 in terms of ore landed in China with 62 percent content including interest. BHP’s break-even level is $29 and Rio’s $30, the bank’s data show.

“There is not much production outside of the big four that can make money at these levels — eventually, we should see the juniors be forced to cut production,” said Jeremy Sussman, a New York-based analyst at Clarksons Platou Securities Inc. “It can also take some time for uneconomic production to come offline.”

Miners’ View

The top mining companies have justified their strategy. In response to questions on Tuesday, Rio Tinto referred to comments last week in Perth by Andrew Harding, head of its iron ore business, who told reporters the unit was “set up to deal with long-term price outcomes, and deliver great margins over the long period of time.”

BHP said Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mackenzie set out the company’s view last week, saying the producer remains “relatively bearish about the long-term projections for prices,” of steel and its raw materials, including iron ore.

“Fortescue has worked hard to ensure we can respond to market conditions,” CEO Nev Power said in an e-mail. “As one of the lowest cost iron ore producers in the world, we will continue to drive productivity, efficiency and cost improvements to maintain our strong financial position.”

Luciano Siani, Vale’s chief financial officer, said last week the company will continue to lower its break-even costs so it can deliver cash flows no matter where prices may be.

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Gold price falls due to stronger dollar and rates speculation

Industry analysts predict further drops in the run-up to next month’s meeting of the Federal Reserve

Half of Gold Output May Not Be ‘Viable’ as Price Sags: Randgold

UPDATE FRIDAY

Gold

INDEX UNITS PRICE CHANGE %CHANGE CONTRACT TIME ET 2 DAY
USD/t oz. 1,056.40 -13.30 -1.24% FEB 16 11:20:11
JPY/g 4,148.00

Gold prices fell yesterday in response to the dollar’s bounce after healthy US economic data raised expectations of an interest rate rise next month.

Prices hovered just above their lowest level in nearly six years, as spot gold fell 0.4 per cent to $1,070.46 an ounce, perilously close to the near-six-year low of $1,064.95 it hit last week.

The latest drop came after it was announced that manufacturing output rose well above economists’ expectations last month. A gauge of business investment plans in America also painted an optimistic picture.

“The orders number is surprisingly positive and that’s what’s weighing on the market,” Rob Haworth, the senior investment strategist for US Bank Wealth Management in Seattle, told Reuters.

Gold has been put under pressure by increasing speculation that the Federal Reserve will raise US rates next month for the first time in nearly a decade. Such a move would increase the cost of holding non-yielding bullion, having a knock-on effect on prices.

But Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann said geo-political issues had played a part and predicted further falls for the precious metal. “The Turkey-Russia tension has only had a limited impact and now gold is back on its downward trend mainly due to the dollar and rate hike expectations,” he said.

“Uncertainty before the next Fed meeting will remain high and prices could head even lower in the next couple of weeks.”

Traders said dealings were relatively quiet ahead of America’s Thanksgiving holiday today.

Gold price resumes downward trend

23 November

With speculation mounting over a possible Federal Reserve interest rate rise over the next few weeks, the gold price has resumed its downward trend after a brief rally at the end of last week.

Having fallen as low as $1,062 an ounce during trading last Wednesday, gold rallied on Thursday and was at one point a few dollars above $1,080. But after a dip back to below this level on Friday, the precious metal dropped again to below $1,070 in Asia overnight, where it remains rooted this morning.

Gold has fallen for 13 consecutive trading days out of 16 in Asia, while for each of the last five weeks in both London and New York it has closed lower than it started. The precious metal’s short-lived recovery last week now appears to be little more than a relief rally in a bear market.

The latest fall follows comments on Saturday from San Francisco Federal Reserve chief John Williams, who the Wall Street Journal reckons is a good barometer of wider monetary policy opinion. Williams says that if nothing happens to derail current economic trends, “there’s a strong case to be made in December to raise rates”.

Rate rises hurt gold and other non-yielding commodities relative to income-generating assets. More importantly, Williams’s statement has boosted the dollar – against which gold is typically held as a hedge – to a seven-month high.

Where is the gold price likely to go from here? OCBC Bank analyst Barnabas Gan has told Reuters that the current price ­– in fact any price around $1,080 – indicates that investors are “sitting on the fence as they await the [Fed] meeting in December”. As a result, he believes the downward trend in the price of gold is likely to persist over the next couple of weeks.

Almost all traders appear to be united in their view that the gold price will fall further if the Fed does decide to raise rates in the forthcoming weeks. Even Jason Hamlin, a self-designated “gold stock bull” who reckons that gold is currently “oversold”, writes on Seeking Alpha, the financial website, that the recent price drop is a sign that the metal “will test $1,000 in the near future”.

Hamlin says that if support for gold holds up in the event that the Fed decides to keep rates as they are – or makes it clear that the rates rise is a “one and done” increase (i.e. a modest rise that will be the last for some time) – then it is not unthinkable that a rally could push gold towards a substantially higher price of $1,200 an ounce.

Rangold Update

The more we continue to produce unprofitable gold, the more pressure we put on the gold price,” said Randgold Resources Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow. “In the medium term, it’s a very bullish outlook for the gold industry. The question is, how long are we going to supply it with unprofitable gold?”

Gold fell to a five-year low on Friday as a rising dollar and speculation that U.S. policy makers will boost interest rates next month curbed the appeal of bullion as a store of value. While industrial metal producers have promised output cuts, “we don’t have that psyche in the gold industry, we just send it off our mine and somebody buys it,” Bristow said in an interview in Toronto.

Gold miners buffeted by the drop in prices are shortening the life of mines by focusing only on the best quality ore, a practice known as high grading, which will restrict future output and support higher prices, according to Bristow. He said in a presentation to bankers in Toronto that the industry life span is down to about five years because companies have been aggressively high grading at the expense of future production.

“The industry has moved away from looking at optimal life of mines because everyone is trying to demonstrate short-term delivery,” he said. “Where is all this value that people promised in the gold industry? It’s not there.”

Traditionally, the industry would address this through “survival consolidation and mergers,” Bristow said.

He said earlier this month that Randgold continues to look for projects to buy, but has been frustrated by companies excessively pricing assets.

London-listed Randgold’s 10-year annualized return of 19 percent is the best performance among major producers tracked by Bloomberg.

Gold futures for February delivery declined 1.2 percent to $1,056.60 at 10:12 a.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the price fell to $1,051.60 an ounce, the lowest since February 2010.

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China Data Signals Slowing Economy – Commodities Update – Oil, Iron Ore, Gold, Nickel, Copper

Copper lead most industrial metals lower after factory and retail-sales data signaled further slowing in China, the world’s biggest user.

Copper in London fell as much as 1 percent, while aluminum, nickel, lead and tin also declined. Industrial-output growth in China was the weakest in August since the global financial crisis, while investment and retail sales moderated, figures released Sept. 13 showed. Factory data due today from the U.S., the second-biggest metals user, will probably indicate activity in August slowed from the previous month, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

“The Chinese data over the weekend came in worse than expected,” Daniel Hynes, an analyst at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., said by phone from Sydney. “It’s not surprising the base metals are weaker on the back of it.”

Copper for delivery in three months on the LME fell to as low as $6,770.75 a metric ton, the lowest intraday level since Sept. 11. Prices were down 0.5 percent at $6,804 a ton by 3:16 p.m. Hong Kong time, poised for the lowest close since June 19.

In New York, the December-delivery contract dropped 1 percent to $3.077 a pound, while in Shanghai the metal for delivery in November fell 0.4 percent to close at 48,380 yuan ($7,877) a ton.

Industrial output in China rose 6.9 percent from a year earlier in August, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Sept. 13. That’s down from 9 percent in July and the slowest pace outside the Lunar New Year holiday period of January and February since December 2008, based on previously reported figures compiled by Bloomberg.

On the LME, lead fell 0.6 percent to $2,110 a ton, while aluminum declined 0.4 percent to $2,020.50 a ton.

Vale’s View

Iron ore may rise to as much as $100 a ton by the end of the year because of declining inventory at ports, Vale Chief Executive Officer Murilo Ferreira told reporters on Sept. 12 in Beijing. Some producers are reducing exports given current prices, Ferreira said. China is the world’s largest buyer.

In China, there’s mounting evidence locally-mined supplies are starting to drop, Morgan Stanley’s Crane wrote. Output, when adjusted to show the equivalent of 62 percent content, fell 13 percent between April and July year-on-year, he said.

“Market participants appear split on the floor price,” Australia & New Banking Group Ltd. analysts including Mark Pervan wrote in a report today. While some are “thinking the resilience of Chinese iron ore supply will see prices fall below $80 a ton, while others firmly believe domestic output can’t sustain current price levels for much longer.”

Expanding Glut

Iron ore prices are unlikely to recover as the global surplus expands, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a Sept. 10 report. The bank reduced its price forecast for the final three months of 2014 by 10 percent to $90, and also reduced full-year estimates for 2016 and 2017.

The structural nature of the surplus and a weak demand outlook in China make a recovery in prices unlikely, Goldman analysts Christian Lelong and Amber Cai wrote in the report. The global glut will more than triple to 163 million tons in 2015 from 52 million tons this year, and widen further to 245 million tons in 2016 and 295 million tons in 2017, it said

Oil Supply

Brent fell to $96.27 a barrel after settling at its lowest level since June 2012 amid concern global fuel consumption is slowing while output climbs. West Texas Intermediate crude sank 1 percent to $91.34 today, after slipping 0.6 percent Sept. 12. The International Energy Agency cut its global oil-demand forecast for 2015 last week.

Russia’s ruble slid as much as 0.5 percent to 37.0380 per dollar, a record low, before trading at 37.985. The euro bought 49.2745 rubles, the most since Sept. 1. The Micex Index climbed 0.2 percent in Moscow.

Copper for three-month delivery on the London Metal Exchange fell to $6,802.75 a metric ton, following last week’s 2 percent retreat. Lead dropped 0.6 percent to $2,108 a ton.

Gold for immediate delivery increased 0.4 percent to $1,234.98 an ounce after closing last week at $1,229.65, the lowest since Jan. 9.

Palladium climbed 1.3 percent to $848.50 an ounce.


2014-08-13 Reuters Gold Poll

Reuters quarterly interviews analysts to gather their gold price prediction. We have collected the forecasts made in 2014 and conclude that the sentiment has stabilized but the expectations for 2015 remain low.

THOMSON REUTERS 2014 Avg Gold Price Prediction 2015 Avg Gold Price Prediction No of Analysts interviewed
Q1 Poll Jan 2014 $1,235 37
Q2 Poll Apr 2014 $1,278 $1,250 28
Q3 Poll July 2014 $1,277 $,1250 31

 Nickel Falls a Fifth Session Amid China Slowdown Signals

Sept. 15 (Bloomberg) — Nickel and aluminum fell for a fifth session in London as industrial metals declined after factory and retail-sales data added to evidence of a slowing economy in China, the world’s biggest consumer. Copper slid.

Chinese industrial-output growth in August was the weakest since the global financial crisis, while investment and retail sales moderated, figures showed. Factory data due today from the U.S., the second-biggest metals user, will probably indicate activity in August slowed from the previous month, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

“Weak Chinese data weighed on base-complex prices,” RBC Capital Markets Ltd. said in a note today. Commodities slumped to the lowest level in more than five years.

Copper for delivery in December lost 0.8 percent to $3.081 a pound by 8 a.m. on the Comex in New York.

The metal for delivery in three months fell 0.4 percent to $6,808 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and lead touched the lowest price since June. An index of the six main metals traded on the LME slid the most since March last week.

Industrial output in China rose 6.9 percent from a year earlier in August, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Sept. 13. That’s down from 9 percent in July and the slowest pace outside the January-February Lunar New Year holiday period since December 2008, based on previously reported figures compiled by Bloomberg.

“Prices may well weaken further,” William Adams, an analyst at Fastmarkets.com in London, said in a note today. “We saw last week a combination of weakness and bouts of scale-down buying, and we feel we may see more of the same this week, especially in those metals that have seen strong price gains in recent months.”

Copper stockpiles monitored by the LME fell 0.1 percent to 156,375 tons, daily data showed. Orders to take the metal from warehouses rose to 40,250 tons on bookings in New Orleans and are up 40 percent in three sessions, the most since April 2013.

Tin and zinc declined in London.

Iron Ore Price Drop No Relief to Shipping Sector

Price drop will not increase demand from China – and not increase shipping demand.

Iron ore declined sooner than expected this year as supplies exceeded demand and prices are unlikely to recover, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which said 2014 will mark the end of a so-called iron age.

This year “is the inflection point where new production capacity finally catches up with demand growth, and profit margins begin their reversion to the historical mean,” analysts Christian Lelong and Amber Cai wrote in a report today titled: “The end of the Iron Age.” The 2016 forecast for seaborne ore was cut to $79 a metric ton from $82 and the 2017 outlook was reduced to $78 from $85, according to the New-York based bank, which stuck with a forecast for $80 next year.

The raw material tumbled into a bear market this year as the biggest producers including Rio Tinto (RIO) Group expanded low-cost output, betting higher volumes would more than offset falling prices while less competitive mines were forced to close. The decline in prices came sooner than expected, according to Goldman, which said in November that iron ore would probably drop at least 15 percent this year. The commodity is seen in a structural downtrend, JPMorgan Chase & Co. said today.

“The price decline has been dramatic, but a weak demand outlook in China and the structural nature of the surplus make a recovery unlikely,” Lelong and Cai wrote. “Lower prices for iron ore and steel are unlikely to boost demand in a material way. Instead, the day when steel production in China will peak gets ever closer.

Lowest Level

Ore with 62 percent content at the Chinese port of Qingdao fell 39 percent to $82.22 a dry ton this year, the lowest level since September 2009, according to data from Metal Bulletin Ltd. The Bloomberg Commodity Index (BCOM), which doesn’t include iron ore as a member, lost 2 percent in the period. Within the index, soybeans fell the most.

Before the surplus emerged, iron ore supplies were tight and producers had above-trend profits even as costs increased, according to Lelong and Cai. That period, dubbed by the bank as the Iron Age, is now ending, they wrote.

“The current exploitation phase in iron ore could last for a decade,” the analysts wrote. “Iron ore markets went through a 20-year period of declining prices in real terms during the previous exploitation phase that ended in 2004.”

The global surplus will more than triple to 163 million tons in 2015 from 52 million tons this year, according to Goldman. The glut was seen expanding to 245 million tons in 2016 295 million tons in 2017 and 334 million tons in 2018.

Producers’ View

The biggest suppliers see higher prices. Ore may increase as the higher-cost output exits the market, Nev Power, chief executive officer of Perth-based Fortescue (FMG) Metals Group Ltd., said in an Aug. 20 interview on Bloomberg Television. Vale SA also sees prices rebounding as supply growth slows and mines close, Jose Carlos Martins, the Rio de Janeiro-based company’s head of ferrous and strategy, said on July 31.

Iron ore may see a dramatic recovery this half, Paul Gait, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, said in a report on July 9, citing factors including a seasonal increase in the second six months and an end to China’s policy tightening. Asia’s largest economy accounts for about 67 percent of seaborne demand.

Credit growth in China missed estimates in July and new-home prices fell in almost all the cities the government tracks, putting pressure on policy makers to step up stimulus as they seek to meet an economic growth target of 7.5 percent.

About 110 million tons of global supply will close next year and a further 75 million tons in 2016, Goldman estimated in the report. While the majority of closures would be in China, seaborne producers will not go unscathed, it said.

Exceed Demand’

“New seaborne iron ore supply delivered into China is expected to exceed demand growth over the next three to four years,” Daniel Kang, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Hong Kong, said by e-mail in response to Bloomberg questions. “In short, we see iron ore in a structural downtrend.”

Rio Tinto, the biggest supplier after Vale, plans to boost output to more than 330 million tons in 2015, according to a company estimate. Vale will raise production 8.4 percent to 348 million tons in 2015. BHP Billiton Ltd. sees an 8.9 percent increase from its Western Australian mines in the year from July 1, while Fortescue may boost shipments by 25 percent.

Fortescue’s stock declined 32 percent in Australia this year, while in London Rio shares lost 5 percent and BHP rose 0.4 percent. In Brazil, Vale dropped 23 percent.

“The shift into structural oversupply is barely six months old but seaborne prices have already declined 38 percent year-to-date,” Lelong and Cai wrote. “Rather than representing the trough for this cycle, we believe the downward pressure is set to continue.”

 

VALE Update : Target Price Now $17.50

VALE : NYSE : US$14.76
BUY 
Target: US$17.50

COMPANY DESCRIPTION:
VALE is the largest seaborne exporter of iron ore and the world’s second largest nickel producer. The company also
produces copper, precious metals, manganese, ferroalloys, potash and other fertilizers, and has a large logistics business. The majority of operations are in Brazil and Canada.
All amounts in US$ unless otherwise noted

Metals and Mining — Senior Diversifieds
VALE SETTLES BRAZILIAN TAX ISSUE, REMOVING THE VALUATION OVERHANG
Event
Vale announced its participation in the federal tax settlement (REFIS) in Brazil for payment of amounts relating to net income of its non-Brazilian subsidiaries from 2003 to 2012. Participating in the REFIS will result in income tax payments of R$6bn at the end of November and R$16.4bn payable in 179 monthly installments.
Impact
Our revised 2013/14 adjusted EPS forecasts of US$2.69 and US$2.21 compare to our prior estimates of US$2.72 and US$2.30. Our revised 2013/14 EBITDA forecasts of US$22.0 billion and US$19.8 billion compare to our prior estimates of US$22.1 billion and US$19.8 billion.
Valuation
We are maintaining our BUY recommendation but decreasing our target price to US$17.50 (from US$18.50). Our US$17.50 target price is based on the average of: i) 6x our 2014E EV/EBITDA, which would imply a share price of US$18.35, and ii) our NPV10 estimate of US$16.55.
Next potential catalyst / Key risk
Vale noted that the tax payments will be funded from operating cashflow, without requiring additional debt financing. Given our current commodity price and operating and capex forecasts, we believe that additional financing may be required by 2015. However, we expect a full update of operating and capex guidance as part of Vale Day at the NYSE
on December 2.

VALE Target $18.50

VALE : NYSE : US$16.18
BUY 
Target: US$18.50

COMPANY DESCRIPTION:
VALE is the largest seaborne exporter of iron ore and the world’s second largest nickel producer. The company also produces copper, precious metals, manganese, ferroalloys, potash and other fertilizers, and has a large logistics business. The majority of operations are in Brazil and Canada.
All amounts in US$ unless otherwise noted.

Metals and Mining — Senior Diversifieds
Q3/13 FINANCIAL RESULTS; SLIGHTLY BELOW OUR EXPECTATIONS
Event
Vale reported a headline Q3/13 EPS of US$0.68 and an adjusted EPS of US$0.72, slightly below our estimate of US$0.74. As a better measure of performance against expectations, adjusted EBITDA of US$5.8 billion was lower than our forecast US$6.1 billion.
Impact Our revised 2013/14E adjusted EPS forecasts of US$2.72 and US$2.30 compare to our prior estimates of US$2.73 and US$2.45. Our revised 2013/14E EBITDA forecasts of US$22.1 billion and US$19.8 billion compare to our prior estimates of US$22.0 billion and US$21.1 billion.
Valuation

We are maintaining our BUY recommendation but decreasing our 12-month target price to US$18.50 (from US$20.00). Our US$18.50 price target is based on the average of : i) 6x our 2014E EV/EBITDA, which would imply a share price of US$18.59, and ii) our NPV10 estimate of US$18.56 (from US$20.16).
Next potential catalyst / Key risk
We are forecasting Q4/13 adjusted EPS of US$0.74, and adjusted EBITDA of US$6.1 billion, based on iron ore and pellet sales volumes of 78.0 million tonnes and 9.5 million tonnes, and iron ore and pellet realized prices of US$103/t and US$140/t. We note that disputes regarding tax reassessments for 2001-2008 remain unresolved. Vale’s investor day is scheduled for December 2 in New York, where we expect the release of guidance for 2014.