Thursday, September 04, 2008

An industrial capex slowdown?

One of the most resilient sectors of the last year has been industrials. It has been industrial exports that have kept US afloat over the last year. Now it is not financials, FMCG, tech, restaurants, retailers etc that industrials sell the majority of their goods to. Industrial capex thrives due to capacity expansion by commodity producers (steel, oil and gas etc), refining/chemical buildout, infra buildout, new power plants, auto plant expansion etc etc.

Have commodities fallen so much in the last month that commodity producers start thinking about scaling back their capex plans? Who is going to provide them funding for their capex plans if they havent yet tied up the funding? These are all long gestation projects - so if debt investors start demanding a higher interest rate for the risk, a project IRR's will decline sharply.

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