Others, though, remain more cautious, projecting the One Belt, One Road policy won’t fuel the economy as much as China’s previous 2009 fiscal stimulus.
“Quantifying the potential impact on commodity markets of the Belt and Road Initiative is difficult, given the number of variables,” HSBC said. “On the demand side, how much spending will actually occur, and when, is highly uncertain. Supply is also uncertain, given China’s dominant role in many commodity markets.”
Nevertheless, BHP projects that 400 core projects could require $1.3 trillion in spending. Power, railways, pipelines and other transport projects could make up 70% of the total investment. Consequently, the projects could consume an additional 15 million metric tons of steel per year over the next decade.
ETF investors could potentially capitalize on this build out through a number of options. For instance, the VanEck Vectors Steel ETF (NYSEArca: SLX) provides a direct play on global steel producers. The broad sector plays like the iShares S&P Global Materials (NYSEArca: MXI) also include large exposures to chemicals, metals & mining and construction materials industries.
For more information on the materials sector, visit our basic materials category.