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US ‘Probes Banks’ Precious Metals Rigging’

Posted on 27 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The United States is reportedly probing major banks over possible manipulation of precious metals markets. The investigation centres on prices for gold, silver, platinum and palladium, the Wall Street Journal says.
It is being carried out by the Justice Department with help from Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates raw materials and derivatives, the newspaper said, quoting sources close to the case. The banks targeted are HSBC, Bank of Nova Scotia, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Societe Generale, Standard Bank and UBS………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Platinum Dives to 5-Year Low

Posted on 27 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

For more than a year, you must have heard hundreds of analysts arguing that investors were moving money into precious metals and that global economic uncertainty would push these metals higher. Well, that hasn’t happened.
If we look back in time, periods of economic concern do not always translate into higher rising precious metals price. Furthermore, the market is just fine in spite of all the economic news that keep coming up talking about global economic concerns………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Can platinum regain its premium over gold in Q2-Q3?

Posted on 26 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

On the positive side, precious metals consultancy, Metals Focus, in its latest Precious Metals Weekly, reckons that there’s a good chance that platinum will regain its premium over gold, perhaps as soon as in Q2 this year and possibly get back to a premium level during the year averaging as much as $100 over the gold price (which is pretty much the normal situation).
However there’s little in their opinion on the fundamentals side to support this argument, the key factor, being in their view, that when the U.S. Fed eventually ceases shilly-shallying and starts to raise interest rates, it will be the gold price which bears the bulk of any adverse reaction in the markets and platinum less affected………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Will a dry spell in Chile curb a global oversupply of copper?

Posted on 26 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A raging seven-year drought affecting copper-rich Chile is making miners grow anxious as the dry spell is now affecting the supply of power necessary to sustain their operations, responsible for around a third of global copper output. Companies such as BHP Billiton and Anglo American have recently highlighted the impact of the country’s extreme conditions in their latest financial reports.
Output at BHP’s Escondida, the world’s largest copper mine, dropped 2% percent in the second half of 2014. Water scarcity at Anglos’ Los Bronces — the world’s sixth-largest copper operation— may cost the company as much as 30,000 tonnes of lost production, equivalent to 4% of Anglo’s overall copper output this year, Reuters reports………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper Signal May Be Flashing Green

Posted on 26 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper has been down for so long that some are saying the only way is up. A key signal in the market is starting to flash green, with bets that copper prices will continue to fall recently hitting a record high on the London Metal Exchange, though they’ve since started to fall back. For some, that suggests the red metal’s fortunes may be about to turn. At these levels, there’s simply no more stomach to bet against copper, they say.
“People have kind of run out of ammunition,” said Guy Wolf, global head of market analytics at Marex Spectron, a broker “There’s no more new money to come in.” According to Marex Spectron, there were 130,000 lots that were bets that copper would fall on Jan. 29. That was equivalent to 76% of all copper contracts registered with the London Metal Exchange, a record high, above even the bets made against copper during the global financial crisis of 2008, according Mr. Wolf………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Market not paying enough attention to copper supply situation: Citi

Posted on 25 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The current bearish sentiment toward copper is being driven by concerns about China’s economy slowing with the market ignoring the fact that mine supply is looking increasingly constrained, Citibank’s research department said Tuesday.
Over the last decade, average global copper consumption growth has been in the region of 2.5% a year, “a remarkably low average given the strong growth in China consumption rates. This average annual rate is less than half that for aluminium.” Analyst at the bank David Wilson said that two factors have been at work to limit the rate of global copper demand growth………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aluminium restarts not just a matter of price: Andy Home

Posted on 25 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Non-Chinese aluminium production was unchanged in January, according to the latest figures from the International Aluminium Institute (IAI). Producers, it might be inferred, are still holding the line in terms of keeping capacity off-line in the face of low prices and historical stocks overhang.
Their continued discipline is a subject of much market conjecture, although the fear of restarts waxes and wanes with the price. A combination of lower London Metal Exchange (LME) basis price and softer physical premiums, particularly in Europe, has seen the all-in price slide back to just above $2,100 per tonne from over $2,450 as recently as November………………………………………..Full Article: Source

PwC Metals Deals Outlook: buyers and sellers to play a waiting game

Posted on 25 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There will be weak momentum in the metals deals market in 2015 according to a new report from PwC. The report, Metals Deals: Forging ahead, predicts that, as in 2014, the lack of convincing, strong and sustainable growth in the global economy will keep metals deals in a low gear, or even stalling in some parts of the world.
Jim Forbes, global metals leader at PwC, said: “With the current level of commodity prices and the downward pressure on economic forecasts, we don’t expect dealmakers to be rushing to the table in 2015. The deal making that will take place is likely to be driven primarily by specific country, industry or company considerations, rather than the global cycle, the direction of which remains uncertain.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Copper Tells Two Stories on Global Economy

Posted on 24 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It is often claimed that copper prices are a reliable barometer of the global economy’s health. Those who monitor the metal closely are sharply divided over its condition. As of Monday, copper’s spot price on the London Metal Exchange had fallen nearly 10% since the start of the year. Even so, the metal has staged a partial recovery from a five-year low reached on Jan. 29, rising 5.1% from that low to $5,672 a ton on Monday.
The whipsawing in prices has been mirrored in the shares of major copper producers. Chile-based Antofagasta PLC’s stock fell 13% in January but has since recovered the lost ground………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper Is Shining Bright After Dull Start to the Year

Posted on 20 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper prices rose to a one-month high on Wednesday, as the possibility of a deal between Greece and its European creditors sparked optimism in metals markets. Copper for March delivery, the most actively traded contract, closed up 1.3% at $2.6145 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the highest settlement since Jan. 13.
Greece will seek an extension to its rescue deal from the rest of the eurozone, officials said, signaling a shift in the standoff between Athens and its creditors. The possibility of an agreement that would keep the EU whole sparked optimism in copper markets, which saw a sharp drop Tuesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nickel Falls to 12-Month Low as Greece Impasse Fuels Demand Woes

Posted on 20 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nickel prices dropped to a 12-month low on concern that European demand for industrial metals will falter amid signs of snags in Greece’s debt talks. Germany rebuffed Greece’s request for an extension of its aid program as euro-area finance ministers prepare to meet to avert a cash crunch for the region’s most-indebted nation. A gauge of the six main prices on the London Metal Exchange has declined 6.6 percent this year.
“There are lots of concerns in Europe whether a deal will be done, and that’s still very much hanging in the balance,” Nic Brown, the head of commodity research at Natixis SA in London, said in a telephone interview. “Issues in Greece epitomize the wider problems for Europe.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Base metals slip on EU wrangling, nickel and zinc price hit fresh lows

Posted on 20 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Base metals moved to lower prices in Thursday’s LME morning session in thin and volatile conditions in the absence of Asian market participants over Chinese New Year - nickel hit a one-year low and zinc its softest for three weeks.
“For now, we would expect the metals to take their lead from the dollar/euro and from developments over Greece. Should a loan extension be agreed, there may be room for a relief rally,” FastMarkets analyst William Adams said. Greece has applied for a six-month extension on the loan agreement, Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem suggested on social media platform twitter………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Indonesia says may delay 2017 ban on copper concentrate exports

Posted on 19 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Indonesia could push back a ban on exports of copper and other mineral concentrates due to come into effect in January 2017 if miners have not built new domestic smelters in time, a mining ministry official said on Wednesday.
Early last year Southeast Asia’s largest economy put in place export restrictions aimed at forcing mining firms to develop smelting and processing facilities so that Indonesia could refine all of its own raw ores and concentrates………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper Futures Decline Most in a Week on Chinese Housing Data

Posted on 18 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper futures fell the most in a week after a report showed declining property prices in China, the world’s largest metal user. New-home prices fell in 64 out of 70 cities in January, Chinese government data showed on Tuesday. That signaled an interest-rate cut in November, the first since 2012, hasn’t revived construction yet. Property accounts for about half of China’s copper demand, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
“More and more reports are indicating that the slowdown is not getting any better,” Mike Dragosits, a senior commodity strategist at TD Securities in Toronto, said in a telephone interview. “Prices will probably remain under pressure until we see China taking some aggressive steps to boost growth.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Fundamentals look good for mining companies

Posted on 17 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

For the most part, positive fundamentals (for gold mining companies) refers to rising gold prices. However, this neglects things under the surface that can affect margins as much as or more than headline prices. In the chart below, we plot gold priced in canadian dollars; gold against oil; and gold against Industrial Metals. Before we get to the chart, let me explain why these ratios are important.
First, the vast majority of gold mining firms are headquartered in Canada, with the loonie is their local currency. The Canadian gold price for firms that operate mines or explore in Canada can be more important than the USD Gold price because their costs are in Canadian Dollars and not US$’s. Thus, a weak loonie rather than a weak dollar is a benefit………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Lower prices spur rare earths consumption, supply remains constrained – USGS

Posted on 17 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Lower rare earths prices and the increased availability of rare-earth compounds led to increased US consumption in 2014, the US Geological Survey (USGS) has found. However, in its latest mineral commodity summary for the abundant group of 17 elements composed of scandium, yttrium and the lanthanides, the USGS noted that increased domestic output of separated rare-earth products was hampered by technical difficulties in the ramp up of new production capacity.
Despite increased global demand for rare earths in the permanent magnet and catalyst industries, prices for most rare-earth compounds declined in 2014 owing to an excess of inventory in the market, the organisation said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Falling Copper Prices Will Drag These 2 Stocks Lower

Posted on 13 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With copper trading near six year lows, many traders are starting to wonder whether the bottom is near and whether a reversal could be in the cards over the coming months. From a fundamental perspective, the answer to traders’ question may come from China, which is the world’s largest customer.
Many investors are hoping that increased spending on infrastructure and power utilities will be enough of offset the declines in Chinese real estate. However, since more than 50% of the nation’s usage of copper stems from the real estate sector, there is little sign of a reversal any time soon………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Rio Tinto dismisses talk of deal with Glencore

Posted on 13 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Rio Tinto does not need to do a deal with Glencore, its chief executive Sam Walsh said after the Anglo-Australian miner defied the gloom in the commodities sector by increasing its dividend and announcing a $2bn share buyback.
Rio has been under pressure to make good on promises to increase returns to shareholders and ward off any fresh approach from Glencore. The Swiss-based mining house can make another approach in April under UK takeover rules, after a merger proposal was rebuffed by Rio last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aluminium overtakes copper for No.2 spot at Rio Tinto

Posted on 13 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Rio Tinto has been struggling for years to recover from the $38 billion purchase that elevated it to the world’s biggest aluminium company but also brought it to the verge of bankruptcy. Now signs of price improvements for aluminium and related alumina and bauxite, amid slowing supplies out of China, are turning the division’s fortunes around.
In Rio Tinto’s financial results on Thursday, data showed aluminium had surpassed copper as the second biggest contributor to underlying earnings - $1.25 billion against $910 million for copper - in 2014 behind iron ore………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Glencore to Divest Platinum Miner Stake to Shareholders

Posted on 12 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Glencore Plc, the mining and commodities trading company headed by billionaire Ivan Glasenberg, said it’s planning to distribute its 23.9 percent holding in platinum producer Lonmin Plc to its own shareholders.
“As we do not trade platinum and have no special insight into the market, we believe that it is better to leave to our shareholders the decision as to how to manage the Lonmin shares,” Glasenberg said in a statement Wednesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

African miners feeling the squeeze

Posted on 12 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Against a background of crashing commodity prices, mining in Africa is facing increasing pressure as governments and investors struggle over distribution of the mineral wealth lying under much of the continent.
The subject is a key focus of more than 7000 delegates from around the world, including government ministers and mining company CEOs, meeting in Cape Town this week at Africa’s biggest annual mining conference - the “Mining Indaba”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.S. platinum jewelry imports jump 60 pct in 2014, gold up 15 pct

Posted on 11 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

U.S. platinum jewelry imports surged more than 60 percent in 2014 from a year ago, while imports of gold jewelry rose 15 percent, according to Thomson Reuters GFMS calculations released on Tuesday and based on United States Census data.
The United States imported 1,156 kg of platinum jewelry in 2014, up 61 percent from 719 kg in 2013 because of steep declines in the euro, Erica Rannestad, senior analyst of precious metals demand for Thomson Reuters GFMS in Chicago, said in an email………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China may wait for further copper sell-off to buy

Posted on 11 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s strategic stockpiler may wait for a further copper sell-off before it buys, according to influential investment bank Goldman Sachs. The country’s State Reserves Bureau was rumoured to have been active in the copper market last year, yet it does not publicly release details of its purchases, reports Henry Sanderson, commodities correspondent.
The agency appears to buy copper when higher-cost producers are losing money, Goldman says. Copper mining costs are set to continue to fall due to a rising US dollar and falling energy costs, which suggests the SRB may wait for copper to hit at least the low $5,000 a tonne before it buys more, the bank said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Protecting Your Portfolio: Should You Buy Gold Or Gold Miners?

Posted on 10 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Many investors consider gold to be a safe haven, a hedge against inflation and a hedge against financial calamity. Indeed, a small allocation to gold in your portfolio is a prudent diversification tool but it has its drawbacks.
For example, physical gold becomes expensive and is bulky to store in any large quantity. Additionally, there are plenty of gold-focused investment funds on the market but some charge hefty management fees and others are difficult to understand………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper Prices at Lowest Point in Six Years - Is It Time to Buy or Avoid This Precious Metal?

Posted on 10 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There have been rough times in the commodity markets, but copper has been hit especially hard. From an early-2011 peak that approached $10,000 per metric ton, copper lost nearly 30% of its value in mid-2011, and after a brief recovery, has slowly dropped to its current price ($2.534 per pound or $5,575 per metric ton as of this writing).
That is the lowest price since the massive 2008 slump that saw prices rapidly drop below $1.50 per pound. Has the copper price bottomed out, and is it time to buy? That is not a simple call. Copper prices are far more difficult to predict now. Copper stocks have come into increasing use as a financial tool because of its relative liquidity, thus the demand is split into two components – those who are using it solely as a financial vehicle and others who are using it for manufacturing purposes………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nickel Falls With Zinc as China Trade Surplus Shows Weak Demand

Posted on 10 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nickel and zinc retreated for the first time in three days after a record trade surplus for China, the largest metals consumer, highlighted weak domestic demand.
Nickel lost as much as 1.2 percent while zinc dropped as much as 0.8 percent. Imports into China during January fell 19.9 percent from a year earlier, the most in five years, while exports fell 3.3 percent, the customs administration said Sunday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s Copper Ore Imports Slide After Record Smelter Production

Posted on 09 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s imports of copper ore and concentrate, used to make the refined metal, fell for the first time in three months after smelters in the world’s largest consumer boosted production to a record last year.
Inbound shipments in January fell to 930,000 metric tons, down 20 percent from the previous month, according to General Administration of Customs data released Sunday in Beijing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper, copper everywhere, but why now?

Posted on 09 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There suddenly seems to be a whole lot of copper around. On Thursday the London Metal Exchange (LME) reported a 32,500-tonne rise in inventories, reflecting the warranting of 32,750 tonnes of copper. Aluminium traders will probably shrug their shoulders. That market has long got used to massive tonnages hitting the LME system.
But in copper a single-day increase of this scale is almost unheard of. Indeed, you’d have to go all the way back to July 2001 to find a bigger one-day surge, as shown in the first of the charts below. And it merely marks an acceleration of a trend that has been running since the start of the year. LME stocks have risen by 107,425 tonnes, or 61 percent, since the beginning of January………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global debt haunts mineral prices

Posted on 09 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Not quite six weeks into the year and already the wall metals need to climb gets higher by the day. On top of a global emerging currency war — in the space of just over five weeks 17 central banks have loosened monetary policy — there is all that debt.
As McKinsey Global Institute asked during the week, “can we thrive in a world awash with debt?” Since 2007, it reports, ­global debt has increased by $US57 trillion ($73 trillion). On Thursday, copper inventories at the London Metal Exchange jumped by 32,500 tonnes in a 24-hour period (to 284,600 tonnes). Inventories of the red metal at the Antwerp warehouse alone have risen 65 per cent since January 1………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mining firms suffer reversal of fortune in Africa

Posted on 09 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Mining companies’ excitement over Africa is being cooled by fresh five-year lows in commodity prices – resulting in cuts to investment in even the most resource-rich countries. When the commodities supercycle was in full swing, Africa was a frontier of choice, offering investors some of the best but least-explored mineral resources.
Miners scrambled for choice assets, exemplified by Rio Tinto’s $3.7bn acquisition of a coal project in Mozambique in 2011. But, in sharp contrast, the past year has been bitter for miners. South Africa’s platinum sector endured a five-month strike; iron ore mines closed in Ebola-hit Sierra Leone; and copper-rich Zambia crossed swords with global companies over a tax rise. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Thinking of switching from gold to gold miners?

Posted on 06 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The recent strengthening of the gold price along with a weaker rand in the last quarter of 2014 has prompted many investors to consider switching from owning physical gold (Like the ABSA NewGold ETF) to owning the shares of gold mining companies.
The attraction of owning shares is obvious when the operating margin of gold companies is increasing. This can happen when things outside (rand/dollar exchange rate, gold price) or inside the mines’ control results in income rising faster than costs. This widening of the operating margin creates free cash flow, which in turn underpins a rising share price and results in a holding income for investors (dividends)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Analysts bearish on copper despite recent spike

Posted on 06 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The copper price hit a two-week high after easing measures by China’s central bank lifted hopes of growing demand for the metal, but analysts don’t expect the rally to last. The London Metal Exchange spot price for copper rose to $US5755 a tonne late on Wednesday, the highest in two weeks, after the People’s Bank of China cut the reserve requirement ratio for banks, while in the US, service industries expanded at a faster pace in January, with both events fuelling expectations for economic growth.
In Asian trade on Thursday, copper gave up some of its gains, slipping to $US5650 a tonne. Only a week ago the spot price for the base metal was $US5391, the lowest since July 2009………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nyrstar Sees Zinc Prices Rising as Shortage Looms by End of Year

Posted on 06 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nyrstar NV, the world’s largest refined-zinc producer, expects the price of the metal to increase further after the 500,000 metric ton Century mine in Australia shuts by the end of the year.
“We are heading into a period that is forecast to be short on both the concentrate market and the refined metal market,” Heinz Eigner, acting chief executive officer of Belgium-based Nyrstar, said in a phone interview. “This double deficit” is pushing the metal into a “very strong price range,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s Reserve Ratio Cut Won’t Help Mining Commodities: Goldman

Posted on 06 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Could China’s cash-strapped miners get a boost after the People’s Bank of China cut its banks’ required reserve ratio by 50 basis points? Don’t count on it, argued Goldman Sachs‘ Eugene King and Christophor Jost, mainly because even if there is more liquidity in the Chinese economy, demand for steel and early stage mining commodities such as coal and copper are “more geared to government fixed asset investment spending than private capital.”
Earlier this week, Credit Suisse pointed out that infrastructure projects have been stalled at the provincial level. See my February 1blog “China Growth “Could Be Very Weak” In Q1 As Policymakers Disagree“………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bearish bets on copper begin to fade

Posted on 05 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Are copper bears closing their bearish bets? That’s the talk in the market place. Open interest — the number of futures and options contracts outstanding — on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) has fallen significantly in recent days, according to Standard Bank, including a 35,800 lot reduction on Tuesday.
It is currently 896,212 lots, down 6 per cent from the record level of 952,018 lots seen on January 30. “After going aggressively short in the second week of January, and again in the last week of January, it now seems that the Chinese copper speculators are heading for the exit,” says Standard Bank analyst Leon Westgate………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China supply could limit aluminium gains

Posted on 05 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The aluminium market faces the prospect of a growing surge of supply from China this year that could disrupt expectations of a global deficit. A divergence in prices between China and the rest of the world could spur exports and limit aluminium’s price gains this year, analysts say. A falling rouble that has improved the competitiveness of Russian smelters could also prompt more supply.
At $1,765 a tonne, the London Metal Exchange price for three-month delivery of aluminium has risen 1.4 per cent this year, the best performing base metal on the exchange………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper Posts Biggest Daily Gain in Nearly 2 Years

Posted on 04 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper prices closed with their highest gain in nearly two years Tuesday, lifted by soaring oil prices and expectations that China would use stimulus measures to kick-start its economy. Copper for March delivery, the most actively traded contract, settled up 3.7% to $2.5815 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, its sharpest rally in percentage terms since May 3, 2013.
Front-month Nymex crude futures hit a one-month high as a U.S. refinery strike pushed up prices for petroleum products. Oil’s rally prompted a rush into other commodities, including copper, which had fallen to a 5½-year low in recent weeks as investors worried that slowing global economic growth would dull demand for the metal………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aluminum industry body stops stocks data reports in blow to transparency

Posted on 03 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The International Aluminum Institute (IAI) has stopped reporting global inventory stocks, in another blow to transparency for a metal whose price, critics say, has been skewed by big banks and trading houses.
In a statement, the IAI said the aluminum stocks numbers it receives from global smelters had become incomplete to the point where it would be misleading to carry on reporting them. Last year, a U.S. Senate investigation concluded that Wall Street banks had manipulated commodity prices and gained unfair trading advantages at the expense of consumers. The problem was especially acute in aluminum………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold Caps for Biggest Drop Since 2013 as Silver Plummets

Posted on 30 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold futures fell the most in 13 months and silver posted the biggest plunge since June 2013 as signs of a robust U.S. labor market cut demand for haven assets. The two most-traded gold options were bets on further declines, and prices for the contracts doubled. Aggregate futures trading was 79 percent above the 100-day average for this time of day, with silver 70 percent higher, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
The fewest Americans in almost 15 years filed applications for unemployment benefits in the week ended Jan. 24. Economic activity “has been expanding at a solid pace,” Federal Reserve officials said in a statement on Wednesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Growth in China’s nonferrous metals consumption seen to shrink further

Posted on 30 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The growth rate of China’s consumption of nonferrous metals will dip into the single-digit range in 2015 and is expected to fall further in coming years due to the structural challenges facing the sector, Shaanxi Magnesium Industry Group said Thursday, January 29.
The group in a report said surplus supply in the aluminum and copper segments were among the key challenges. The “wave-style” expansion of consumption seen in recent years has ended and traditional markets have become saturated amid the emergence of new technologies, new products and new industry and commercial modes, the group said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is Aluminum the New Doctor Copper?

Posted on 30 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

When you’re ill, it often pays to get a second opinion. For many years now, investors have turned to ‘Doctor Copper’ for an indication as to the health of the global economy. The red metal is used in everything from construction to white goods to kitchenware, and so it’s seen as a pretty accurate indicator of economic health.
But some argue copper’s lost its mojo. According to Eugen Weinberg, head of commodity research at Commerzbank, all the red metal tells us about is the state of some large emerging markets, and, more specifically, China. It may even be in danger of going the way of the Baltic Freight Index – a previous barometer for trade activity based on transportation rates that has fallen out of favor (and was replaced by the Baltic Dry Index)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Chile trims copper prices expectations for 2015

Posted on 30 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Chilean Copper Commission, known as Cochilco, on Thursday revised downward its expectations for the average copper price in 2015, to $2.85 a pound from the $3.00 a pound it forecast in October. Chilean copper production is expected to be 6 million tons this year, down from the 6.23 million tons Cochilco projected in October.
Chile is the world’s largest copper producer and each one-cent increase in the price of the red metal represents more than $40 million in additional government revenue………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Industrially exposed precious metals are looking attractive relative to Gold

Posted on 29 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The ECB’s commitment to create inflation, if successful, should benefit gold but it could be more beneficial to the other more industrial cyclical commodities and precious metals , most notably platinum, said ETF Securities.
Despite nearing recession, European auto sales increased 1.4% in 2014 which was the first annual increase since 2011 (see chart on page 2). Pent up demand appears at play as vehicles last only so long. Platinum is the primary catalyst for diesel vehicle emission controls and Europe is the world’s largest diesel market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zinc and nickel price upside ‘imminent’: Clarus

Posted on 29 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There has been a lot of bullish talk in the metals community about zinc and nickel over the past couple of years, as many insiders believe those commodities are poised for a rally. You can include Clarus Securities analyst Mike Bandrowski in that group. He published a detailed note on Tuesday that suggests zinc and nickel have “imminent” upside and will perform very strongly over the next two years as inventories disappear.
In the case of zinc, Mr. Bandrowski noted the market is already in deficit, and that deficit should get bigger following the closures of the Lisheen and Century mines this year. He said exchange inventories have fallen by more than half over the last two years and should be at “critical” levels later in 2015………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper Rises

Posted on 29 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper rose for the second time in three days amid speculation that the metal’s slump to a five-year low will encourage miners to reduce output, pointing to tighter supplies. Freeport-McMoRan Inc., the world’s largest publicly traded producer, said this week it expects to spend about 20 percent less on mining and energy projects this year than forecast in October.
Rio Tinto Group, the second-biggest global mining company, said Jan. 20 its production of the metal fell in the three months through Dec. 31. Copper prices are trading near the lowest since 2009………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper slips to new five-year low

Posted on 28 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper futures have closed significantly lower on the London Metal Exchange with the release of worse-than-expected economic data out of the US sending prices tumbling to near five-and-a-half-year lows. The LME’s three-month copper contract was down 2.8 per cent at $US5,425.00 a metric tonne at Tuesday’s PM kerb close - having been down almost three per cent at an intra-day low of $US5,418.00 a tonne.
Copper prices plunged again as sellers came back into the market thanks to an apparent growth slowdown to come in the US, according to Jasper Lawler, a market analyst at CMC Markets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities? Brazil Iron-Ore Startup Says Cosmetics a Better Bet

Posted on 28 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Things are so bad for mining projects in Brazil that startup All Ore Mineracao SA (AORE3) is changing its line of business for something more glamorous: cosmetics. All Ore, whose 2009 listing made it the last iron-ore company to start trading on the Sao Paulo stock exchange, said it’s abandoning commodities to focus instead in the beauty and health-care market.
The company, which hadn’t yet started operations at iron-ore and gold projects in northern Brazil, will buy a cosmetic producer and change its corporate purpose, it said in a regulatory filing Tuesday. Investors approved. Shares jumped as much as 70 percent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Japanese aluminum stocks hit all-time high, putting pressure on prices

Posted on 27 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Aluminum stocks had risen to 413,000-419,900 mt in Japan, which is an all-time high, putting pressure on local prices as some companies want to destock before March, the end of the Japanese financial year, market sources said Monday, January 26. Aluminum stocks at three main Japanese ports had swollen by the end of December, according to trading house surveys.
Some recent buy tenders settled low as a result, traders said. Two Japanese consumers were seeking 500-1,000 mt lots via tender last week, traders said. They were seeking deliveries into Nagoya and Yokohama………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Has China’s base metals import appetite peaked?

Posted on 27 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Not so very long ago base metals bulls marched to the beat of the monthly release of China’s trade figures. The country’s import appetite was seemingly insatiable as it sucked in ever-increasing volumes to feed its booming infrastructure and property programmes.
Not any more, though. Net imports of refined aluminium, nickel, zinc and tin all fell last year, some of them precipitously. China isn’t a net importer of refined lead at all, a steady flow of exports helping explain why this particular market is so out of favour with investors right now………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Platinum Is Worth Acquiring When Cheaper Than Gold

Posted on 26 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Platinum is cheaper than gold, which is the opposite of what’s usually the case. The supply side of platinum is bad and will get worse if prices do not improve. Demand for platinum can only increase while substitutes become less attractive.
Platinum is one of the best known precious metals. While not as popular as gold and silver, there are some people out there who consider platinum to be an alternative candidate to those two metals………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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