Recovering from 2015’s race to the bottom, the members of the Top 40 paused and drew breath in 2016. Rapidly rising commodities prices promised a way forward and the valuations of the Top 40 responded. But, valuations aside, there is little to suggest that the group made any substantial advances throughout the year. At first glance, the 2016 financial data seems a little dull.
The numbers, however, highlight the symptoms of a broader inertia. We believe the industry is determining its next move. The poor results of 2015 demanded a reaction and short-term price rebounds provided the scaffolding to make the Top 40 great again. However, restraint was the order of the day. A price rise was welcomed but with cautious optimism and warnings to heed the lessons of the past. The narrative of the Top 40 in 2016, therefore, reads like a mine site safety mantra: Stop. Think… Act.
The industry has stopped feeling so anxious and is now considering “Where to from here?”.
Some members of the Top 40 stated their intentions, but 2016 was not a year of action. We now wait to see how the industry will advance.