It’s probably a good time to invest in commodities now when prices are lower, according to former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein.

“From an inflation point of view, as an investor, I think investing in material sectors while they’re under-appreciated is not a bad thing now," Blankfein said at the CME Group Inc.’s virtual metals briefing. “Everyone has decided that we’ll never have inflationary pressure again, oil prices will never go up again. I don’t think so."



The Bloomberg Commodity Index is down almost 11% this year, compared with a 2.1% return for the MSCI World Index and 8.8% for iShares TIPS bond ETF.

Blankfein’s comments echoed value investor Kopernik Global Investors LLC, which has has about $3.3 billion in asset under management. Its Kopernik Global All-Cap Fund is up about 23% this year, beating 97% of its peers, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Kopernik’s director of research, Alissa Corcoran, said that even though some short-term events such as demand destruction due to Covid-19 haven’t been positive, some commodities would likely see higher prices in the longer-term due to better supply-demand fundamentals.

Blankfein, who joined Goldman as a metals salesman in 1982, wasn’t as optimistic about precious metals, however. He said he’s unclear if it’s a good idea to invest in gold and silver “because it’s been so long since those metals played a role as a store of value."

Gold jumped to a record in early August and has soared almost 30% in 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic sparked a surge in demand for haven assets. Unprecedented economic stimulus from governments and central banks worldwide has also raised the specter of inflation, adding to the appeal of bullion.