Outlook for 2005
Regarding metals and minerals
The growth of the global economy should
remain relatively solid in 2005 despite some slowing down due
mainly to the high price of petroleum and a strengthening of the
macroeconomic policies of various countries. Stimulated by the performance
of the global economy and especially by China’s continuing
strong demand, metal and mineral consumption should hold up.
The prices of metallic substances
should remain generally high in 2005, and some will continue
to rise due to tight markets and a weak supply. Nonetheless, it
should be emphasized that certain base metals may have attained
their cyclical peak in 2004, as production progressively adjusted
to market conditions. Moreover, prices will continue to be strongly
volatile, reacting in particular to:
- unforeseen interruptions in production;
- fluctuations in the American dollar;
- and changing perceptions with respect to the Chinese demand.
In all, Québec’s 2005
mineral shipments should continue to benefit from the vigorous global
consumption of metals and minerals, and the high average annual
prices for many of these commodities.