Citigroup’s Morse Says Commodities Drop Hasn’t Hit Bottom

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Ed Morse, Citigroup Inc.’s global head of commodities research, said the worst slump in commodities prices in a generation isn’t over.

“I think we are not at the bottom because we are still seeing consistent cost deflation,” Morse said Saturday at a meeting of the Institute of International Finance in Lima, Peru.

The Bloomberg Commodity Index on Sept. 30 capped its worst quarterly loss since the depths of the recession in 2008. The economy in China, the biggest consumer of grains, energy and metals, is expanding at the slowest pace in two decades just as producers struggle to ease surpluses. Alcoa Inc., once a symbol of American industrial might, plans to split itself in two, while Chesapeake Energy Corp. cut its workforce by 15 percent.

Morse’s view contrasts with forecasts by Pacific Investment Management Co., which said Friday that the rout is probably over. Pimco, which manages about $1.52 trillion, said oil is poised to gain over the next 12 months and other commodities producers are shelving projects and scaling back output.

Morse said oil prices will reach a “turning point” next year and start to rise. The U.S. shale market has seen close to 30 percent cost deflation this year, with an additional 15 percent to 20 percent more to go, Morse said.