By Otto Rock
On December 29th 2016 we ran our annual “Ten random predictions” post for the year ahead, the usual mix of biz, politics and sport that blend serious and left-field calls that we don’t expect to become reality. Here we are at the back end of 2017, it’s time for the results so here below come the original calls, the result and the score for each call (1 for a win, 0.5 for “close enough for my taste”, big zero for anything else). And by way of reminder of previous years’ results:
In 2013 we scored 5.5/10
In 2014 we scored 6/10
In 2015 we scored 5.5/10
In 2016 we scored 6/10
…which means that up to now at least, we’ve been consistently mediocre. On with the show:
1) Gold to break through U$1,400/oz in the course of 2017
SCORE: 0 point: It broke U$1,350/oz at the start of September, but that’s all she wrote on a gold price that was largely range-bound and revolved around the U$1,250/oz line all year. Close I suppose, and the bar was set deliberately high, but a failed call is a failed call.
2) Copper to break through U$3.10/lb this year
SCORE: 1 point: A win! It seems to easy in hindsight, but back in late 2016 we had the world convinced that copper had put in its run and Codelco, BHP, CESCO and all other sources of expertise were predicting a $2.50/lb average for 2017. I win.
3) Uranium will finally put in a rally and move back above U$30/lb
SCORE: 0 point: It got to $25 or $26 on that recent pop when the Stans closed down part of their production, but since then it’s dropped back again. No good call
4) Goldcorp (GG) to merge with Agnico Eagle (AEM)
SCORE: 0 point: One of those I don’t expect to come in, but pick anyway. And the way things are going, it’ll be Agnico picking up Goldcorp soon, not the other way round. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
5) Colombia to become the LatAm mining success story of 2017
SCORE: 0 point: Errrr…massive fail. Arguably the regional winner was Ecuador (easy to jump low-set barriers), but Colombia was the pick and the country went from bad to worse. Local anti-mine referendums, enviro opposition, a government that can’t legislate itself out of a plastic bag.
6) Venezuela’s government to implode
SCORE: 0 point: For a while back there the call looked good, but Maduro rode out the the rough period, cracked down on anyone daring to use freedom of speech and then the oil-hungry Chinese rode in and bailed the country out financially, with all signals that they’ll keep on doing so in the future if necessary.
7) Mauricio Macri and his government to lose heavily in the Argentina mid-term elections
SCORE: 0 point: Another massive failed call, Macri’s Cambiemos party did well and has now given him a true mandate to push through on his reform package. Argentina still isn’t out of the woods and its reputation as a permanently FUBAR nation is well deserved, but if the government can do a better job against the stubbornly high inflation rate and keep a lid on the worst of the social protests, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. As for Cristina, she will now play out her days as a semi-important character in Congress.
8) Juan Martín Del Potro to win at least one Grand Slam tournament in 2017
SCORE: 0 point: Oh Delpo…again suffered from that iffy wrist early season, came back and was firing at perhaps 85% come the US Open (his best chance), but it wasn’t to be. However hope springs eternal and if Roger and Rafa can do it in their mid-30s, so can The Tandil Tower.
9) Barcelona to win the 2017 Champion’s League and Spanish Primera double
SCORE: 0 point: Yup,it’s another fail. It was a hard call at the time (Barsa trailed Real by a distance last Xmas) so I was’t expecting it. One lives in hope and dies smiling.
10) The UK will not invoke Article 50 before the end of March 2017
SCORE: 0 point: And to close out a pathetic year of prognostication, yet another fail. Brexit is coughing and spluttering, the UK parliament now has something akin to a veto vote on the whole shebang come 2019, public opinion in the UK has now moved against leaving the EU…but a call is a call and that one above was blow out the water in due style in March.
And so…roll on the drums…
GRAND TOTAL: ONE OUT OF TEN. Oh my stars, what a waste ground! Now I don’t take this thing too seriously and obvious pick a few left-field and hard to kill predictions, but that’s a sorry and embarrassing score, light-hearted or not I hand my head in shame.
However, it’s not going to put me off 🙂 and the next edition of the annual predictions will make it to the blog in the next couple of days. In the meantime, feel free to throw cabbages and rotten tomatoes my way.Subscribe to NFTRH Premium for an in-depth weekly market report, interim updates and NFTRH+ chart and trade ideas; or the free eLetter for an introduction to our work. You can also keep up to date with plenty of actionable public content at NFTRH.com. Or follow via Twitter @BiiwiiNFTRH, StockTwits or RSS. Also check out the quality market writers at Biiwii.com.