Tuesday 9 February 2016 4:02 pm

Goldman: Aluminium, copper and gold prices to recover more slowly than oil prices

Goldman Sachs has warned metal markets will recover more slowly than the stricken oil sector, despite metal prices outperforming crude over the past 20 months.

The Wall Street stalwart said metals have higher closure costs, slower "decline" rates and near infinite storage capacity, meaning supply side adjustments take longer compared to shale gas.

Metals are also more heavily exposed to China's investment-led "old economy", which is slowing, it added.

"While metal prices are expected to be supported over the next one to two months … we forecast that near-term metals support will prove to be fleeting on a one to two year view, both on an outright basis, and relative to oil," Goldman said.

Read more: Low oil prices aren't a death knell for the economy

"Indeed, by around mid-2016 and through 2017, we expect that the 'opex-heavy' oil market will adjust, while 'capex-heavy' metals markets are set to weaken further, particularly copper and aluminium, resulting in substantial downside to metal prices relative to oil over the period." 

Goldman slashed its price forecast for aluminium over the next 12 months by 10 per cent to $1,350 per tonne, down from $1,550 per tonne. It also cut its price forecast for copper by 14 per cent to $4,000 tonnes, from $4,500.

Additionally, it's now neutral on nickel, while remaining bearish on gold and platinum.