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Copper supply surplus to widen to 399,000 mt in 2015: GFMS

Posted on 16 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Rising production and softer demand growth should see the copper market register a 399,000 mt surplus this year, up from a surplus of 316,000 mt in 2014, Thomson Reuters GFMS said Wednesday. “We do not expect a pick-up in prices of note until the latter half of 2015,” GFMS said in its Copper Survey 2015, though it added: “Wild cards remain and include supply-side surprises, with producers perhaps cutting back from planned targets, while China’s state stockpiler could be active again in the current year.”
GFMS is forecasting an average copper price for 2015 of $5,975/mt, a 12% drop from the previous year. Three-months copper closed London Metal Exchange floor trade at $5,950/mt on Tuesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper may fall below $5,000/t next year: BofAML

Posted on 16 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper prices have fallen YTD, despite significant production disruptions. This suggests that the commodity is on track to move into surplus and BofAML see prices fall below $5,000/t ($2.26/lb) next year. Copper has been the underperformer in the base metals complex since the beginning of 2014. This is heavily influenced by an unfolding switch in market balances from deficits to surpluses.
The challenging fundamental backdrop has also been reflected YTD, with copper falling by around 5% in 1Q15, despite close to 500kt of supply disruptions, equivalent to what we had allowed for the entire first half of 2015………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Chinese steel mills cut ferrous scrap buying prices

Posted on 15 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The steel mills in Eastern China have announced further cut in ferrous scrap purchasing prices. The cut comes in the light of declining rebar and iron ore prices. Sources indicate that Jiangsu Shagang Group announced cut of Yuan 30 per mt on Saturday. The company had earlier lowered its scrap purchasing prices by Yuan 30 per mt last Sunday.
Following the announcement, scrap purchasing price of heavy melting scrap of thickness 6 mm and above now stands at Yuan 1,550 per mt, inclusive of VAT. The company has dropped its scrap buying prices by Yuan 170 per mt since March this year. Meantime, Yonggang Group also declared cut of Yuan 30 per mt on purchase price of heavy melting scrap 8mm and above effective Sunday onwards………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Base Metal Mining M&A Activity Expected to Make a Turnaround This 2015

Posted on 15 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Base metal mining companies have been wary of acquisitions in the past few years due to global financial crisis and economic downturn. These companies have bought fewer assets that require large capital investment since 2012.
2013 had been a particularly slow year for transactions as companies opted to maximise the values of their assets and enter into joint ventures that reduce costs while maintaining production. Things are looking to go up soon, however, based on a recent report released by SNL Metals and Mining………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Precious metal bears eating bulls for lunch

Posted on 14 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Weekend reading has served us rather well to catch up on current (potentially future) views and thoughts. Concern about the world economy is still the spotlight, continued fight of deflation and lower crude oil prices, China economy hard landing hitting the front page, volatile Middle East wars and the never ending tension between Ukraine and Russia seems to sum up a fair amount of uncertainty and volatility.
Looking at this week, China GDP data will serve as a catalyst to currencies that heavily depend on it. Further contraction in the 2nd largest economy could spell disaster as global demand could diminish and a snowball effect of fear may grip the market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Citigroup Cuts Metals to Iron Forecasts as China Growth Slows

Posted on 14 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Citigroup Inc. cut price forecasts for industrial metals and iron ore by as much as 50 percent amid signs Chinese demand is waning as economic growth in the world’s biggest consumer slows. The bank lowered its 2015 nickel forecast by 21 percent and cut its estimate for next year by 15 percent, analysts including Ed Morse wrote in a report e-mailed Monday.
Copper, aluminum, zinc, lead and tin projections for this year and 2016 were also lowered. The bank reduced its iron ore outlook through 2020, with prices seen falling into the $30s, according to the bank………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aluminium drops on oversupply worries; lead and zinc rally

Posted on 10 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Aluminium hit a three-week low on Thursday on concerns of oversupply and a cut in Chinese power prices, while lead and zinc hit multi-month highs on further inventory drawdowns. Daily London Metal Exchange (LME) data showed lead stocks MPB-STOCKS fell 725 tonnes to 223,125 tonnes, their lowest level since mid-March, while zinc stocks MZN-STOCKS fell 50 tonnes to 509,925 tonnes, their lowest point in five years.
Zinc and lead are the best performing base metals this year, with supply expected to tighten due to the closure of big mines. “We think (lead) prices should stabilise (near term) and rise by end of year. Lead (demand) is not very dynamic … but supply is probably not going to be as good as expected,” said Eugen Weinberg, an analyst at Commerzbank………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global mining deals to pick up this year

Posted on 09 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The number of mining deals worldwide increased in 2014 and this trend is likely to continue this year amid an ongoing commodity price rout that has forced miners to slash capital spending and cut costs, a study released April 8 shows.
According to SNL Metals & Mining’s report, 2014 saw 73 acquisitions that were valued at over US$10 million each, totalling almost $22 billion for the year. The figure, considerably higher than the $12 billion registered in 2013, is nothing to be too excited about, the study hints. The reason? 2014’s total was the third lowest in the past ten years, with only 2013 and 2009 (US$14.88 billion) being more disappointing than last year’s………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s iron ore tax cut puts heat on Australian miners

Posted on 09 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China has sent a blunt warning to governments in Australia that it will strive to keep its domestic iron ore miners afloat by announcing a new round of tax cuts for the embattled industry. Just days after the Western Australian Government started giving royalty relief to junior miners like BC Iron, China’s State Council announced that Chinese iron ore miners would receive a 6 yuan ($1.27) tax cut on each tonne of iron ore produced.
The introduction of a subsidy by the world’s largest steelmaker may further hurt iron ore prices which fell to a 10-year of $US47.08 per tonne last week, and is bad news for Australian miners hoping to survive long enough to succeed the Chinese domestic miners………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron ore price rebounds past $US47

Posted on 08 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iron ore’s latest losing streak has halted at seven sessions, with the commodity recovering a small portion of lost ground in offshore trade and stalling the plunge toward $US45 a tonne. At the end of the latest session, benchmark iron ore for immediate delivery to the port of Tianjin in China was trading at $US47.60 a tonne, up 1.9 per cent from its prior close of $US46.70 a tonne.
The figure from the previous session represented a record low since The Steel Index began releasing the data in 2008 and was also the weakest mark since 2005-06 when miners used to set yearly benchmark contracts with Chinese steelmakers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Decline in US sheet steel prices slowing, turnaround still unclear

Posted on 08 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Although US flat-rolled steel price erosion is creeping to a halt, a definitive turnaround point has yet to be established, sources said Tuesday. A service center executive pegged the bulk of the hot-rolled coil market within Platts’ specifications of $450-$460/st, down slightly from last week’s range.
Buyers and mills alike are sensing the bottom is near, he said, but no one wants to be the first to commit to a large order or institute a price increase. “When we believe we’re at the bottom, we’ll go in and get some extra tons,” he said. “But we haven’t seen it yet. We need the mills to draw a line in the sand. So we’re just buying what we have to buy and nothing more.” A source with a top-tier mill agreed that mills are hesitant to raise prices until the overall market environment improves………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Supply Problems Buff Away Some of Copper’s Tarnish

Posted on 07 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bad news is good news for copper bulls. After being weighed down for years by slowing demand in China, prices of the industrial metal are on the rise again in recent weeks because of a series of calamities, ranging from flooding and mudslides in northern Chile—which have claimed at least 25 lives—to an electrical failure in Australia.
These unforeseen events have shut copper mines and caused severe disruptions to the world’s output of the metal, which is used in everything from consumer electronics to air conditioners and water pipes. As supply shrank, copper prices in the $87.5 billion futures market went on a tear………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities Explained: Metals trading in China

Posted on 07 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Once already this year traders in London have been dragged out of bed at 1am when copper plunged in Shanghai. That could happen more often and to more drowsy Londoners as SHFE adds two new contracts — nickel and tin — that were long the preserve of the London Metal Exchange only.
Metals volumes on the SHFE, which was launched in 1999, have been increasing over the past few years. Last week’s launch of the new contracts takes its offerings in industrial metals to six, equal to those traded on the LME, the world’s largest centre of metals trading. The LME was bought by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing for £1.4bn in 2012………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron ore falls below $US50

Posted on 02 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iron ore has fallen below $US50 a tonne, extending a run of losses that began a week ago. Iron ore for immediate delivery to the port of Tianjin in China fell to $US49 a tonne, from $US51, while iron ore at the port of Qingdao was $US49.53.
The world’s fourth-largest iron ore miner, Australia’s Fortescue Metals Group, could be losing money at those prices, with its iron ore earning less than that benchmark figure. Losses for smaller junior miners will also increase. It is the lowest price in nearly a decade and compares to the record $US185-plus reached by the steelmaking commodity - Australia’s most valuable export - during 2011………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nickel bounces off near-six-year low

Posted on 02 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nickel has bounced off its lowest level in nearly six years as some investors, betting on price falls, lock in profits, but concerns about Chinese economic growth weigh on other base metals. Nickel has spiralled lower on worries about lacklustre consumption from the stainless steel sector, the dominant source of global demand, as well as a record high inventories on the London Metal Exchange (LME).
Heavy selling by hedge funds has been behind the recent slide in nickel which brought the decline so far this year to about 16 per cent. But some investors were buying on Wednesday to lock in some profits……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Copper supply constraints likely to support price in 2015: Barclays

Posted on 02 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The copper price is likely to rebound in 2015 as “critical” producers struggle to ramp up production, Barclays said in a weekly note to clients late Tuesday. The bank says it believes copper prices will increase to a $6,313/mt average for the year.
Three-month copper closed the Tuesday London Metal Exchange kerb session at $6,040/mt. There has been much talk in the market of the copper price heading toward $5,000/mt in 2015………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Calling Dr. Copper: Barclays Sees 2015 Rebound

Posted on 02 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Is copper the next crude oil? The answer is “no,” according to Suki Cooper, a commodity analyst at Barclays. In a recent note, Copper and her team today laid out case for the metal’s rebound in 2015, forecasting a price of $6,313 per ton for the year.
Because the industrial and consumer sectors make wide use of the metal, investors closely watch movements in the world’s copper price, using it as a barometer of global economic activity. It is often called “Dr. Copper – the metal with a PhD. in economics. At TK, the metal has fallen 9% over the past six months………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Metals Focus: 2015 could be end of gold bear cycle

Posted on 01 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Look for continued weakness in the short term, with the price maybe bottoming out $100 per ounce below where it is today, says Metals Focus in its inaugural Gold Focus report.The seers naturally trot out Asian demand as helping to save they day, but more interestingly suggest 2015 as the year the tremendous growth in supply over the past two decades comes to an end.
Further, producer hedging - selling future supply today - is expected to remain flat at levels far lower than seen a few years back.As for rate the start of U.S. rate hikes - widely anticipated and hurting gold’s price at least in dollar terms - it could be a sell the rumor, buy the news moment for the yellow metal as punters realized the pace of hikes will be slow, with real rates remaining negative for years to come………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron ore price falls to decade low on global glut

Posted on 01 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iron ore completed the biggest quarterly loss since at least 2009 as surging low-cost supplies from Australia and Brazil swamp the global market, spurring a glut as demand from China slows. Ore with 62 per cent content at Qingdao, China, sank 28 per cent since the start of the year, according to daily data from Metal Bulletin.
The raw material retreated to $US51.35 a dry metric ton on Tuesday. That’s the lowest since 2004-2005, based on data from Metal Bulletin and annual benchmarks compiled by Clarkson, the world’s largest shipbroker. Westpac is tipping the price will fall to $US47 a tonne. The commodity capped a fifth quarterly retreat on Tuesday after Rio Tinto Group and BHP Billiton expanded supply, betting increased volumes would offset lower prices and force higher-cost miners to close………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norilsk sees nickel prices firming, supply deficit in 2015

Posted on 01 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Russian metals producer Norilsk Nickel believes the LME nickel price is “bottoming out” and is bullish on the alloying metal as the Indonesian government has said it is committed to keeping its ore export ban in place.
Commenting on its outlook in its results statement for 2014, the company said it expects nickel supplies to move into a deficit of about 20,000 tonnes in 2015, after a surplus of 93,000 tonnes in 2014………………………………………..Full Article: Source

In 20 years, the world may run out of minable gold

Posted on 31 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In another two decades rare commodities may become seriously scarce. According to Goldman Sachs, the world has about 20 years each of known minable reserves of gold diamonds and zinc. Platinum copper and nickel reserves only have about 40 years or less left.
“The combination of very low concentrations of metals in the Earth’s crust, and very few high-quality deposits, means some things are truly scarce,” Eugene King, European metals and mining analyst at Goldman Sachs, wrote in a recent research note. “Gold has been used as a measure of wealth for more than 4,000 years, as the ancient Egyptians soon worked out that gold was not only shiny and heavy, but rare,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Natixis forecasts LME aluminium to average $1,840/mt in 2015

Posted on 31 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

French bank Natixis said Monday that it expects the LME aluminium price to average around $1,840/mt in 2015, moving up to trade higher in 2016 and average around $2,000/mt. “Our analysis of the aluminium market suggests a tug of war over the coming years between positive and negative factors,” the bank said in its metals review for the first half of 2015.
Bullish factors include: strong demand driven by rapid growth of the automotive sector, a shortage of bauxite that is expected to raise the cost of alumina, limited excess supply from China, and a shift away by producers from the expansion of primary aluminium supply to focus instead on captive power, bauxite/alumina and value-added products………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron Ore Hovers Close to $US50, Hits Six-Year Low

Posted on 31 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iron ore just can’t stay out of the news. The commodity has hit another post-financial crisis low—and a record low—when it hit $US52.90 overnight. This was down 2.2 percent from its prior close of $US54.10 a tonne.
Although analysts believe the commodity is reaching the bottom of its trading, and boy, do the rest of us hope so too, investors continue to worry about the oversupply in the market, which shows no sign of lessening. The fall is the second straight six-year trough for the commodity………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron ore drops to fresh six-year low

Posted on 30 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iron ore hit a six-year low on oversupply and a slowdown in China’s property sector. The price of iron ore, for immediate delivery at the port of Qingdao in China, dropped 4 per cent on Friday, the biggest drop since late January, to $US53.14 per tonne, according to Metal Bulletin – the lowest level since the daily pricing index began in 2009.
Since its 2014 high of $US135.27 per tonne, the price of the steel making ingredient has dropped more than 60 per cent. Since its record high of $US191.70 per tonne it was fallen more than 70 per cent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper rebounds as Chile closes mines

Posted on 27 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper rebounded as torrential rain in Chile closed some of the biggest mines in the world’s largest producer of the metal. Copper rose as much as 0.5 percent after snapping the longest rally in six weeks on Wednesday. Some of the world’s largest copper mines were forced to shut down as torrential rain in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile closed roads and flooded towns.
Codelco, the world’s biggest copper producer, shut all of its Atacama mines including Chuquicamata and Radomiro Tomic, according to the state-owned company. “Copper supply expectations have been revised again after news that rains in Chile forced mines shut,” said Fang Junfeng, an analyst at Shanghai Cifco Futures Company. “The market is entering a peak consumption season in the northern hemisphere.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Morgan Stanley Copper Price Outlook

Posted on 27 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The copper price has started to bounce back from its drastic fall at the start of the year, climbing more than 6 percent over the past month. However, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) has cut its 2015 price forecast for the metal by roughly 16 percent, to $5,945 per tonne, on the back of lackluster demand from China.
The firm remains convinced that base metals will outperform bulk commodities such as coal, but in a report it expresses concern that seasonal demand from China has failed to pick up as expected. In the report, analysts Tom Price and Joel Crane state that far from expanding trade in response to “a growing list of government approved property and infrastructure projects,” the metals processing industry in China “remains dormant” and is “actually sidelining capacity.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Shanghai to Match London Metals as China Seeks Commodities Sway

Posted on 27 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Shanghai Futures Exchange will start trading nickel and tin on Friday, offering the same main contracts as the world’s biggest metals bourse in London, as China seeks to extend its influence over commodities prices.
They join Shanghai’s existing futures for aluminum, copper, lead and zinc. Nickel and tin are the worst performers on the London Metal Exchange this year, partly on concern that demand in China may weaken. Mainland traders can use both LME and SHFE contracts to hedge or profit from the difference in prices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s top copper producer continues alarming slump

Posted on 26 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Jiangxi Copper, China’s top producer of the metal, posted a 20% drop in net profit for 2014, a third consecutive annual decline due to weak metal prices, and forecast a tough outlook for base metals due to overcapacity.
The company expects copper prices to stay weak, pressured by a buoyant US dollar as the Federal Reserve moves towards tightening monetary policy. Net profit fell to 2.8 billion yuan (RM1.6 billion) last year from 3.6 billion yuan in 2013, the company said in a filing to the Shanghai stock exchange on Wednesday. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Iron ore price jumps past $US55

Posted on 25 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The price of iron ore has again surged past $US55 a tonne, after it had held below that mark for three out of the prior four trading sessions. At the end of the latest offshore session, benchmark iron ore for immediate delivery to the port of Tianjin in China was trading at $US55.60 a tonne, up 2.6 per cent from its prior close of $US54.20 a tonne.
The positive showing was its second best gain for the year to date, but the commodity remains nearly 60 per cent off where it was at the start of 2014 and over 20 per cent below where it started this year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is nickel finally back on track?

Posted on 25 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

At the outset of 2015, the once-stable base metal segment suddenly became a precarious one, recording a bear market rally that sent an alarming signal to investors. Even nickel, whose early January trading was considered exemplary, eventually succumbed to a series of weak prices.
Nickel was 2014’s best performing industrial metal, and experts believe that it will remain a strong contender for the same accolade this year until 2016. However, several unanticipated events pulled the base metal down, including the Greece bailout crisis, the Chinese market’s absence on Lunar Eclipse holiday, and the shaky supply and demand segment dictated by China………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is the tide turning for Precious Metals?

Posted on 23 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Has the tide begun to turn for the precious metals, notably silver and gold? In our view the turn began last year and if pressed to pinpoint one event, it would be following the failure of the Swiss referendum when the SNB de-pegged the franc from the euro. The Swiss National Bank was frustrated with the continued depreciation of the Euro. This had as much to do with sentiment as it did with the SNB clearing seeing the Euro might be going the way of the Rentenmark.
Around this timeframe, investors received a flurry of news regarding worldwide demand for both silver and gold. This news continues to pore in, that multiple factions that are unsure of the longevity of the U.S. dollar continue to buy precious metals. For example, net silver imports into India in November, set an all-time monthly record. This would be followed by a record setting year of net silver imports, amounting to 7,063 tons………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron ore price bounces to $US55

Posted on 23 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iron ore has enjoyed a rare positive session after a tumultuous week that saw the commodity sink below $US55 a tonne for the first time since 2009. At the end of the latest offshore session, benchmark iron ore for immediate delivery to the port of Tianjin in China was trading at $US55.00 a tonne, up 0.9 per cent from a six-year low of $US54.50 a tonne.
However, the metals bulletin price for iron ore delivered to the port of Qingdao, another closely-watched spot market, was 0.6 per cent weaker at $54.66. Over the last month the commodity has given up about 15 per cent of its value, the latest sign of turbulence after a horror 2014 that saw its price cut in half………………………………………..Full Article: Source

New Hong Kong brokers focus on metals trading

Posted on 23 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A new breed of broker, focused purely on trading commodities, is applying for licences from Hong Kong’s securities watchdog. Listed metal trading firm Lee Kee will start offering commodities broking in the city during the second quarter, after the Securities and Futures Commission granted it a futures broker licence last month.
Lee Kee, a Hong Kong firm established in 1947, has no history in any brokering business but it trades zinc, nickel, aluminium and a host of other metals for more than 1,000 customers, mostly manufacturers in toys, fashion, cars and other industries on the mainland and in Southeast Asia………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper drops on China weakness

Posted on 19 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper has taken its biggest fall since late January, weighed down by economic weakness in top consumer China and expectations the Federal Reserve will prepare the ground for an increase in US interest rates. Other metals slid to fresh lows as investors stepped up selling during the day, sending tin and lead to their weakest levels in 57 months and nickel to a 14-month nadir.
The Fed was expected to remove the word “patient” from its statement on the timing of its first rate rise since 2006, possibly paving the way for policy tightening as early as June. The US dollar was steady near its recent 12-year peak against a basket of currencies. A strong dollar makes dollar-priced metals more costly for non-US investors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Platinum price drops under $1,100 per oz to fresh 2009 lows

Posted on 18 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Platinum dropped below a price of $1,100 on early on Tuesday afternoon to a fresh July 2009 low, coming under renewed pressure from the strength of the US dollar. The metal traded as low $1,096 per ounce, down $10 on Monday’s close and a drop of 9.1 percent since the start of the year. It was last at a price of $1,095/1,100.
“The decline in PGM prices this year may be viewed as encouraging for industrial buyers [but] we believe above ground stocks may have to be depleted further before platinum can make significant upside advances,” James Steel at HSBC said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge Fund Seeks Zinc, Copper Assets After Finnish Mine Deal

Posted on 17 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Audley Capital Advisors is seeking to add to its metals resources after buying Talvivaara Mining Co.’s nickel operation in Finland, according to the former Anglo American Plc executive heading the hedge fund’s mining business.
“I came to Audley with a view to be able to go in and operate some assets,” John MacKenzie, who led copper and zinc operations at Anglo before joining the fund in 2013 as chief executive officer of mining, said in an interview. “Audley Capital is constantly on the lookout for mining opportunities,” including nickel, zinc, copper and metallurgical coal, he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper, Industrial Metals Climb as China Credit Tops Estimates

Posted on 13 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper rose to a one-week high and aluminum rebounded from an 11-month low as credit growth expanded more than forecast in China, the world’s largest user of industrial metal.
Aggregate financing was 1.35 trillion yuan ($216 billion) in February, China’s central bank said Thursday. That topped the median estimate of 1 trillion yuan by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Nickel, zinc and lead also rose in London………………………………………..Full Article: Source

More Coal Cuts Seen Ahead as Demand for Steel Slows: Commodities

Posted on 13 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In the last year, mining companies eliminated about 15 million tons of production capacity for the coal used to make steel, while outlining plans to double those cuts in the near future. It won’t be near enough.
That’s the determination of Chief Executive Officer Don Lindsay at Teck Resources Ltd., the world’s second-biggest exporter of metallurgical coal. For supply to match flagging demand, the industry must cut a total of as much as 45 million tons, he says, raising the ante as prices sit at a six-year low………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How to read the changing signals from China’s metals trade: Andy Home

Posted on 12 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China will be the key determinant of industrial metal prices this year. Nothing new there then. The country has played the starring role in the sector for many years, thanks to its stellar contribution to global demand growth for everything from aluminium to zinc.
What has changed over the last couple of years, though, is the country’s own surging output of refined metals following years of production capacity growth. In the aluminium market, for instance, what China imports from the rest of the world is far less significant for prices than what it exports………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aluminium costs sink globally

Posted on 12 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The surcharge that consumers pay to obtain the metal started falling in Europe in November, spurring US declines in February. The global domino-effect was completed last week, when people involved in the negotiations told Bloomberg News that Japanese buyers will pay less amid a regional oversupply.
The rates are falling from an all-time high as demand for aluminium can’t keep up with record exports from China, the biggest producer of the metal. Aluminium for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange dropped 4.8 percent this year as some traders unwound financing deals and warehouse backlogs eased………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China ferrochrome: Domestic price supported by tight spot supply

Posted on 12 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The domestic spot price of 50% Cr Chinese high-carbon ferrochrome was assessed flat on the week at Yuan 6,400-6,600/mt (equivalent to 78-80 cents/lb) — including 17% value-added tax and delivery — on Wednesday on support from spot supply tightness and word that Shanxi Taigang Stainless Steel had lifted its March purchase price.
Spot market supply — while not as tight as earlier this year before Chinese New Year holidays in mid-February because more Chinese ferrochrome producers have restarted production after the holidays — is still seeing some tightness as producers are prioritizing production for term contracts, sources said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global nickel prices set to pick-up in H2 2015: Citi Research

Posted on 12 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nickel prices are expected to recover globally in the second half of the year on declining nickel pig iron production, stronger demand from the European stainless steel market and reduced nickel ore availability, Citi Research said in a report Tuesday, March 10.
China’s NPI production is expected to fall to 377,000 mt this year, from 471,000 mt in 2014, with output already contracting by almost 33% year on year to a little over 30,000 mt (contained nickel) in January, Citi said. This follows a 29% year-on-year decline in Q4 last year. Cost pressures and environmental issues will likely constrain production, explained Citi………………………………………..Full Article: Source

All is not well on the metals commodities front

Posted on 11 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world of metalliferous mining – for the most part at least – is suffering, and suffering badly. No more China-driven supercycle (at least for the short to medium term). More of a China-driven downcycle seems to be in place as Asia’s biggest economy ceases to grow at its recent pace, and there are suggestions too that the Chinese, who look at these things with a rather longer-term viewpoint than most Western governments and businessmen, may even be actively driving down some commodity prices through destocking and reducing imports.
No matter that this impacts on the country’s own mining operations – there has been something of an ongoing programme anyway to rein in some of that nation’s more inefficient and most-polluting mining operations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Rio Tinto sees iron ore mines closing at slower pace in 2015

Posted on 11 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global miner Rio Tinto expects some 85 million tonnes of iron ore capacity to be taken out of the world market in 2015 because a price slump has made it too costly to produce, on top of an estimated 125 million tonnes last year.
Chinese mines - among the least efficient globally - will absorb most of the losses, according to Rio Tinto iron ore chief Andrew Harding. However, some of that will be offset by the likely start-up this year of the Roy Hill mine in Australia. “We estimate that around 85 million tonnes of existing production will exit the market in 2015,” Harding said on the sidelines of a conference in Perth on Tuesday. “This will come from China as well as seaborne suppliers.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

London copper turns lower as dollar firms up

Posted on 11 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

London copper sagged on Tuesday as a stronger dollar clipped the gains from short-covering in the previous session, while traders waited for signs of demand from China, the world’s top copper user, after last month’s long holiday.
The dollar scaled a near 12-year peak against the euro on Tuesday, as the underlying theme of monetary policy divergence held sway, making commodities more expensive for the holders of other currencies and exacerbating price pressure after soft trade data this week cast a shadow over metals demand………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron ore majors raise supply

Posted on 10 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global iron ore supplies are set to expand further as the world’s biggest producers press on with capacity expansions, raising shipments of the steel-making raw material into a market facing a record surplus and sinking prices.
Net supplies will increase about 60 million to 75 million metric tons in 2015, in line with a 75 million ton rise in 2014, as mine expansions in Australia and Brazil more than offset closures in China, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Company. Morgan Stanley predicts a net rise of 63 million tons this year, with production expected to peak in September to October………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Miners pray the commodities collapse has hit rock-bottom

Posted on 09 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Life in Australia’s gold pits are not what it once was, but dealmakers in the ailing sector are ready to strike after betting on a turnaround. At the height of the mining boom, lorry drivers working in Western Australia’s Pilbara iron ore belt would have expected to take home something in the region of £100,000 a year in basic salary as China’s demand for commodities countinued unabated.
Nowadays, mining companies Down Under have even cut steak sauce off the menu and cancelled the free staff barbecues to cut costs. The days of mineworkers earning salaries and bonuses comparable to a fully qualified doctor are long gone………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s Copper Imports Tumble as Lunar New Year Crimps Demand

Posted on 09 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s copper imports fell for a second month to the lowest in more than three years as the week-long national Lunar New Year holiday sapped demand for the metal. Inbound shipments in February of unwrought copper and products fell 32 percent from the previous month to 280,000 metric tons, the lowest since May 2011, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs on Sunday. Imports during the first two months of the year are down 24 percent from the same period in 2014.
Demand for the metal slowed as businesses and factories shut before and during the holiday, which ran from Feb. 18-24 this year. Copper rebounded 7.3 percent in London last month after a 13 percent tumble in January as investors weighed slowing economic growth in China against supply disruptions at mines globally………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nickel Prices Look Poised to Rebound

Posted on 09 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Prices of nickel hit their lowest levels in more than a year last week, suggesting it is just another metal suffering from weaker Chinese demand growth and a strong dollar. But many traders and analysts think the long decline in nickel’s price is reaching an end, as China’s drive to produce more of a substitute product—nickel pig iron—shows signs of cracking. NPI is commonly used in China as a cheaper alternative to pure nickel for producing stainless steel.
China’s burgeoning output and usage of NPI has meant that the world has had plenty of spare pure nickel. That has put pressure on prices for the commodity: The benchmark three-month nickel futures contract on the London Metal Exchange is down around 30% in the past year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron Ore Majors Raising Supply as Surplus, China Sink Prices

Posted on 09 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global iron ore supplies are set to expand further as the world’s biggest producers press on with capacity expansions, raising shipments of the steel-making raw material into a market facing a record surplus and sinking prices.
Net supplies will increase about 60 million to 75 million metric tons in 2015, in line with a 75 million ton rise in 2014, as mine expansions in Australia and Brazil more than offset closures in China, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Morgan Stanley predicts a net rise of 63 million tons this year, with production expected to peak in September to October………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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