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The net effect of Omicron on commodities is not clear

Most commodity prices have fallen in the last week or so following the identification of Omicron – a new, and potentially more transmissible, strain of COVID-19. However, while commentary has generally focused on the effects that the new strain and associated lockdown measures may have on commodity demand, less attention has been paid to the implications for supply. After all, OPEC+ has left the door open to a change in output quotas before the group’s next meeting in early January. And, at a time of already declining stocks of industrial metals, there is a risk that the new variant prompts closures of major smelters and mines. As a result, we are leaving our price forecasts broadly unchanged for now. In view of the wider interest, we are also sending this Commodities Overview Chart Book to clients of our Energy and Metals Service.

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