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Is commodity bull alive?

Posted on 21 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global mining investors have been demanding greater returns following a period marked by failed acquisitions and spending on mine expansions that flooded metals markets. After a decade of explosive price gains fueled by Chinese demand, often defined as the commodities supercycle, mining companies are contending with slower growth by spurning mergers and cutting costs.
“The supercycle ain’t over, China is still buying, demand for commodities hasn’t tapered off, it’s even higher than it’s ever been,” Glencore Plc’s billionaire Chief Executive Officer, Ivan Glasenberg said. “The demand is pretty good. We’ll grow. We may do acquisitions where you’re not creating more supply in the market.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Palladium Rally Overdone Look For Prices To Fall By Year-End - Capital Economics

Posted on 21 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Palladium’s powerful performance in this year has garnered a lot of market attention, but one research firm said it expects the metal’s current rally to lose momentum during the second half of the year.
In a report released Wednesday, Caroline Bain, senior commodities economist at Capital Economics, said the firm is lowering its year-end price forecast for palladium to $800 per ounce, from their previous forecast of $875………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Platinum, palladium prices are tanking

Posted on 21 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Platinum futures listed on Nymex were trading lower at $1,434.00 an ounce on Wednesday, while September palladium contracts fell sharply to a low of $869.65 an ounce as recent optimism about the prospects for the sector evaporate.
Palladium futures trading on New York’s Nymex hit an all-time record intra-day futures price above $900 an ounce on Monday on supply fears as tensions between the West and Russia over the latter’s involvement in Ukraine escalate………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World Crude Steel production surges 1.7% in July

Posted on 21 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

World crude steel production totalled 137 million tonnes (Mt) in July 2014, for the 65 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel), according to the association. This indicates an increase of 1.7% compared to July 2013.
China’s crude steel production for July 2014 was 68.3 Mt, up by 1.5% compared to July 2013. Elsewhere in Asia, Japan produced 9.3 Mt of crude steel in July 2014, the same level of production as in July 2013. South Korea produced 5.9 Mt of crude steel in July 2014, up by 6.2% on July 2013………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russia tensions push palladium to $900

Posted on 19 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Palladium touched $900 a troy ounce on Monday for the first time since 2001, taking this year’s price gain to 25 per cent. The precious metal, which is used mainly in catalytic converters in petrol-powered cars, has benefited from real and potential supply disruptions in the two main producing countries.
In South Africa, a five-month miners’ strike crippled output of the metal, pushing the global market further into deficit. Though work resumed in June, its output there has yet to recover to previous levels………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Palladium rises to 13-year high

Posted on 19 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Palladium futures climbed to a 13-year high on concern that global supplies will trail demand for the metal used in pollution-control devices in cars, exacerbating a deficit. Gold fell. Through August 15, palladium jumped 25 percent this year following a five-month mine strike that ended in June in South Africa, the world’s second-biggest producer.
The conflict in Ukraine spurred the US and European Union to impose sanctions on Russia, the top supplier. Production will trail demand this year by the most ever after the strike, according to London-based Johnson Matthey Plc, which makes a third of the world’s catalytic converters………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Platinum:Palladium Ratio At Lowest Since 2002 - Mitsubishi

Posted on 19 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The ratio of platinum to palladium prices are at their lowest since 2002, falling to 1.63, says Jonathan Butler, precious metals strategist at Mitsubishi. This comes as palladium notched a new 13-year high and outperformed other precious metals.
“We remain of the view that investor interest stemming from the positive underlying fundamentals could see $900 challenged in the near term. According to Statistics South Africa, the country’s PGM mining output fell 37.2% in June, an ‘improvement’ on the 48.5% fall in May but a figure that reflected the severe impact of the five-month AMCU strike………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s Rare Earth Metals Industry Consolidates

Posted on 18 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There is no country more important to the rare earth metals industry than China. It’s the world’s top producer and consumer – at 90% and 70%, respectively. However, its rare earth industry recently received an unfavorable decision by the World Trade Organization. The WTO ruled that China had used export restrictions on rare earths to control key markets, push prices higher, and force the global industry to move operations to China.
This led directly to a Chinese government decision to undertake dramatic changes in its domestic rare earths industry………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Supply-demand dynamics brighten aluminium

Posted on 18 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The aluminium market is perking up, with the average price per tonne on the London Metal Exchange rising to over $2,000 now from $1,693 in February 2014. While the primary reason for this is high physical delivery premium, the supply-demand dynamics are also brightening.
This is due to a long waiting period and a court battle looming over the metal, owing to warehouse rules on delivery. In the last few years, warehouses registered with the LME were witnessing bottlenecks after metals such as aluminium were used as a financing tool………………………………………..Full Article: Source

M&A and capital raising in mining & metals: H1 2014

Posted on 18 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

M&A and capital raising activity remained subdued over 1H 2014 - down 69% year-on-year, according to the latest analysis from EY. This was largely the consequence of a continuing commitment to capital discipline and a lack of urgency over investment, given the relative lack of competition for assets.
Improving signals of economic growth in the US and the apparent subsidence of a looming emerging markets crisis have lowered broader market volatility. However, they failed to offset ongoing concerns surrounding growth in China and further near-term commodity price volatility………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Death of commodities boom forces miners to reconsider US$616-billion worth of deals

Posted on 18 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A proposed spinoff by BHP Billiton Ltd. of about US$15 billion in assets signals the start of a new round of disposals as the biggest mining companies adapt to the end of a boom for commodities. With Anglo American Plc fielding offers on a weekly basis for mines and Rio Tinto Group last month dumping Mozambique coal assets for a fraction of what it paid three years ago, producers are streamlining in the wake of China-led minerals demand that drove record profits as metals prices soared.
Mining companies have been sharpening portfolios as commodity prices retreat and after poorly timed acquisitions in a decade-long US$616 billion investment spree led to asset writedowns and management clear-outs………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Platinum looking at a bright future?

Posted on 15 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Northam Platinum Ltd. plans to position itself as one of the world’s largest producers as it forecasts an increase in prices of the metal by 2018. Northam, owner of the deepest platinum mine, targets production of more than 1 million ounces of platinum-group metals by 2020 through acquisitions and expansion, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement today. It sold 396,417 ounces in the year through June.
The average basket price Northam received for platinum-group metals, which include palladium and rhodium, declined 6.1% to $1,198 an ounce from a year earlier, it said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US sheet prices remain high, but spot market tenuous

Posted on 15 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

US sheet producers are enjoying relatively high, stable pricing compared with the rest of the world, but their position is far from guaranteed, market sources said Thursday.
“I think we’re in the beginning of a good expansion of metal use, but I don’t buy into the argument that prices need to go up,” said one trader. “Prices have been high for non-supply and demand reasons for a long time. If these guys aren’t careful, they’re going to kill that goose.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Gold and Silver Miners that Can Make Money Now

Posted on 14 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As much as we’d all like significantly higher silver and gold prices, Chris Thompson of Raymond James doesn’t expect them. The good news, he argues, is that the relative stability now characterizing the market permits investors to make informed decisions about which companies can build value and demonstrate cash flows at today’s prices.
We think gold and silver have performed relatively well this year and showed strength toward the end of the second quarter. My feeling is that stronger gold and silver prices that we have seen earlier than anticipated this year is a reflection of global political tensions and maybe just a reminder that we are not out of the woods as far as U.S. economic performance is concerned. Earlier is better, and so we look for gold and silver prices to retain most of their gains in the third quarter………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Miners Have Already Rallied: Will Metals Follow?

Posted on 14 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

When one looks at gold and silver prices and their moves yesterday, it might seem that nothing happened in the precious metals market. That’s far from the truth because the real action took place in mining stocks. Several weeks ago, it was miners’ strength that heralded the rally in the whole sector. Will we see one also this time?
Miners moved higher and the volume that accompanied this move was rather average. It was not high enough to confirm the direction of the move by itself, but it was not low enough for us to say that the move was fake………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper slumps on Chinese demand concern

Posted on 14 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper has sunk to its lowest level since June after weak economic data fuelled concerns about the prospects for demand in China, the world’s biggest consumer of the metal. Copper, used in electronics and construction, traded as low as $6,873 a tonne for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange on Wednesday after figures showed the amount of money flowing into China’s economy slowed sharply in July.
“When people look at bad data from China and decided to do something about it in metals then they are going to look at copper first,” said Vivienne Lloyd, base metals analyst at Macquarie. The bank estimates China accounts for around 45 per cent of refined copper consumption………………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.S. Mining Winning The Costs Race

Posted on 14 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Mining booms are nearly always driven by rising commodity prices but what’s happening in the U.S. today indicates that falling costs are the driving force behind a revitalized interest in all forms of resources, from oil and gas to gold.
Activist investors, sometimes criticized for being too aggressive, have spotted the value gap developing between international mining and oil operations and those in the country winning the low-cost race, the U.S………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mining M&A activity subdued despite strong deal pipeline

Posted on 14 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Multinational professional services group, Ernst & Young, which nowadays likes to be known as EY, has just produced its latest quarterly Mergers and Acquisitions analysis for the mining sector. This shows that there were around 112 deals in the sector during Q2 this year totaling US$9.5b. Deal volume was down 21% on the previous quarter and down 41% on the same quarter in 2013.
Total deal value was up 33% on the previous quarter, primarily due to the US$3.6 billion acquisition of Osisko Mining Corp. by Yamana Gold and Agnico Eagle. Similarly, H1 comparisons show total deal values down 69% year-on-year to US$16.7 billion from US$53.8 billion in H1 2013, the fourth consecutive year of decline………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aluminium in Gulf to reach $55bn by 2020

Posted on 13 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gulf region’s investments in the aluminium sector are forecast to reach $55 billion by 2020, compared to $30 billion in 2011, thanks to smelters’ expansion and new projects in the region, according to organisers of Aluminium Middle East exhibition.
Statistical data shows that the Gulf aluminium industry is growing by 8.4% annually, compared to an average annual global expansion of 3.5%, making the Middle East the fastest growing aluminium market in the world, said the event organisers who cited figures by Harbor Intelligence, a firm specialised in global aluminium market trends, analysis and forecasts………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aluminum Bulls Increase Wagers as Funds’ Favorite Is Zinc

Posted on 13 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds and other speculators increased their bullish bets on aluminum with prices climbing to a 17-month high today amid forecasts for a shortage.
The net-long position in aluminum rose to 146,418 futures and options by Aug. 8 from 141,277 contracts a week earlier, the London Metal Exchange said in its second weekly Commitment of Traders report. Zinc has the highest share of money manager bets on higher prices at 28 percent of open interest compared with 25 percent for aluminum and 22 percent for copper………………………………..Full Article: Source

Metals advance: Is China healthy?

Posted on 13 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Zinc and nickel paced gains by industrial metals in London amid signs demand is improving in China, the biggest consumer. Aluminum rose to the highest since February 2013. Industrial production in China maintained its pace of growth last month, economists surveyed by Bloomberg said before data due tomorrow.
Zinc trading volumes in Shanghai were more than triple the average today, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Money managers’ long position in zinc came to 28% of the open interest as of Aug. 8, the most among six main metals traded on the London Metal Exchange, data from the bourse showed. Still, that’s down from 30% a week ago………………………………..Full Article: Source

Overview of the Steel & Iron Ore Market in Q3 2014

Posted on 13 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The commissioning of new iron ore capacity combined with a dearth of disruptions to supply have boosted availability of cheap iron ore, which has weighed on prices. In most regions, steel prices have remained low because raw material prices have fallen and competition between steelmakers remains active.
The exception is North America where disruptions to steel production and pent-up demand that has built up following weather-related issues in the first quarter have sent prices significantly higher. Still, this has opened the window for imports, which are likely to weigh on prices before too long………………………………..Full Article: Source

Indonesian nickel ban resonates globally

Posted on 13 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Indonesia’s ban on nickel ore exports is resonating globally as prices climb to the highest since 2012, prompting companies from Avebury Nickel Mines Ltd. to Poseidon Nickel Ltd. to restart operations at idled mines.
Avebury, based in Perth, plans to reopen a deposit in Tasmania six years after it was mothballed. Poseidon is preparing to resume production at a mine in Western Australia, while Panoramic Resources Ltd. may restart mining at its Copernicus deposit in the same state. More producers globally may reactivate facilities as prices extend gains, according to OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest supplier………………………………..Full Article: Source

Industrial Metals Advance as Gaza Tensions Ease

Posted on 12 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Industrial metals from aluminum to zinc rose as tensions eased in the Gaza Strip and signs emerged that the U.S. pushed back militants in Iraq, boosting investor sentiment for commodities. There were no rockets fired from Gaza or no Israeli airstrikes on the territory since a cease-fire went into effect at midnight, the Israeli army said.
Yesterday in Iraq, Kurdish forces were able to retake two towns as militants retreated after U.S. strikes, according to the Kurdish news agency. A gauge of metals fell 1.4 percent in the two weeks ended Aug. 8 as turmoil escalated in the Middle East and Eastern Europe……………………………………Full Article: Source

Is there synergy in going after both Uranium and Gold?

Posted on 12 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Simply put, there is a short-term supply problem in the uranium industry. We believe, however, in the long term, supply will not be able to keep up with demand growth. The point at which we previously expected demand to outstrip supply has been pushed out by a couple of years. That development has impacted the price in recent months, as well as Raymond James’ outlook for the price going forward.
The three main reasons for continued global growth of uranium mine production are the persistence of long-term fixed-price sales contracts, the intransigence of government producers who believe that security of supply is more important than mine economics, and byproduct uranium production. Secondary supply sources also remain robust……………………………………Full Article: Source

China May Impose Resource Tax on Rare Earth

Posted on 12 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The WTO has made a verdict, believing tariff and quota measures launched by China on the export of rare earth, molybdenum and tungsten go against concerned WTO rules and promises made by China when joining the WTO .
Chen Weidong , a professor with the University of International Business and Economics and a part-time researcher at the China WTO Research Institute , said there would be possibility for a resource tax to replace the export tax that would be canceled. This had been researched by a long period of time, but had not been unveiled……………………………………Full Article: Source

Mining M&A activity subdued despite strong deal pipeline

Posted on 12 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Multinational professional services group, Ernst & Young, which nowadays likes to be known as EY, has just produced its latest quarterly Mergers and Acquisitions analysis for the mining sector. This shows that there were around 112 deals in the sector during Q2 this year totaling US$9.5b.
Deal volume was down 21% on the previous quarter and down 41% on the same quarter in 2013. Total deal value was up 33% on the previous quarter, primarily due to the US$3.6 billion acquisition of Osisko Mining Corp. by Yamana Gold and Agnico Eagle. Similarly, H1 comparisons show total deal values down 69% year-on-year to US$16.7 billion from US$53.8 billion in H1 2013, the fourth consecutive year of decline…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aluminum vs Steel - Is the Lighter Metal Closing the Gap?

Posted on 08 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From a standpoint of metals evolution, aluminum seems to have encroached on its main adversary, steel, in the booming global automobile industry, as lower costs, greater flexibility, and lightness have had a salutary effect on ever-increasing gasoline bills.
When analyzing typical materials content of manmade automobiles and light trucks, iron and molded steel still dominate with 55%. High strength steel makes up another 15%, while aluminum and plastics each comprise 10%. The final 10% consists of copper, titanium, etc………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper: Investing Essentials

Posted on 08 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

One of the very first metals ever taken out of the earth and used was copper. As early as 8000 B.C., it was used in coins and ornaments. By 5000 B.C., it was used to form tools that helped mankind emerge out of the Stone Age. Since that time, the metal has become ubiquitous, as copper is used now in building materials, power generation, plumbing, money, and even in electric vehicles.
The mining industry extracts copper ore from the earth, and prepares it to be used as a feedstock to produce copper-based products. Copper is found in large deposits. In its most basic form, copper ore comes in two types: sulfide ores and oxide ores. Each type requires a different method of extraction and processing by the copper industry………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Palladium weakens as bulls head for exit

Posted on 07 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The top performing precious metal of 2014 is beginning to come under pressure. Since reaching its highest level in almost 14 years three weeks ago, palladium, used in catalytic converters that clean car exhausts, has dropped more than 4 per cent. It fell as much as 0.9 per cent to $835.90 a troy ounce on Wednesday, underperforming sister metal platinum as well as gold and silver.
Analysts say there is no fundamental reason for the recent weakness other than profit-taking by investors who have built large positions in palladium, a byproduct metal produced from platinum and nickel mines………………………………………..Full Article: Source

3 Reasons Why Silver Miners Should Be in Every Investor’s Portfolio

Posted on 07 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Precious metal prices remain volatile and this has seen the precious metals mining sector fall out of favour with investors. But there are signs that a sustained rally in precious metal prices is imminent. For the year to date both gold and silver prices have remained relatively flat. But with growing demand along with supply shortages, geopolitical instability in Europe and the Middle East, and Wall Street making big bets on precious metals, I expect to see a sustained rally shortly.
Typically, the preferred means of gaining exposure to precious metals is to invest in gold, but for a variety of reasons I believe silver is a superior investment at this time, offering investors superior potential upside………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Miners face increasing risk of default with volatile commodity prices

Posted on 07 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A Moody’s report reveals a rising risk of default for some smaller miners, amid volatile commodity prices. The report cites recent defaults by Mirabela Nickel and Midwest Vanadium as examples of the risk factors afflicting smaller miners.
Moody’s warns that gold miner St Barbara has the highest risk, out of the companies it rates, of defaulting on its debt, with a Caa1 negative rating. The ratings agency says the main risk factors are challenges with getting projects completed on time and on budget, the unpredictable nature of ore bodies, having one or two major customers, limited cash reserves and volatile markets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zinc positioning shows investor bullishness

Posted on 06 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The shift in investor sentiment that has helped propel the price of zinc to a near three-year high has been highlighted by a new report from the London Metal Exchange that details long and short positioning in industrial metals.
Figures from the exchange’s Commitment of Traders Report, published for the first time on Tuesday, shows money managers held a long position of nearly 135,900 futures contracts in zinc as of August 1 – nearly 30 per cent of open interest, or total number of outstanding contracts………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper lower on slowing China service sector growth

Posted on 06 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper prices slipped on Tuesday, under pressure from data showing growth in China’s services sector slowed to its lowest level in nearly nine years, raising concerns about the demand outlook from the world’s top metals consumer.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) ended at $7,055 a tonne, down 1.05 percent. The metal, used in power cables and construction, is down more than 4 percent in the year to date, weighed down by expectations of rising supplies this year and lacklustre demand………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Metals Still Bearish Despite Shaky Markets

Posted on 06 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The metal markets have been looking very bearish as of late, and this is a little surprising given the recent activity in global markets. Last weeks Argentinian debt default had some minor impact on the markets. Was it a shock? No, markets knew well in advance that the possibility of a default was very realistic and they even knew the day it was going to happen; probably why it didn’t make massive headlines.
On top of this American markets disappointed as data was weaker than expected; unemployment data was the worst as the unemployment rate lifted to 6.2%, and non-farm payroll came in at 209K verse an expected 230K, well below what was anticipated by markets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nickel rises as stockpile concerns recede

Posted on 05 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nickel bounced from a one-month low on Monday as analysts said concerns about rising stockpiles outside China had been overplayed. Nickel for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.4 per cent to $18,496 a tonne.
The metal, used to make stainless steel, has been the standout industrial metal this year, rising as much as 56 per cent as traders bet on shortages after Indonesia banned the export of unprocessed mineral ores in January………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron surge imminent

Posted on 05 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Shipping rates are poised to rally in the second half of the year as Vale SA, the world’s largest iron ore producer, drives up exports of the raw material, according to Commodore Research & Consultancy.
Vale will sell 321 million metric tons of the raw material used in steel this year, the Rio de Janeiro-based miner said in a July 31 earnings statement. That implies its second half shipments will jump 22% compared with the first six months and increase demand for vessels, Jeffrey Landsberg, managing director of Commodore, a New York-based adviser to ship owners, said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Like gold, base metal stocks offer huge investment opportunities

Posted on 04 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Base metals stocks, like gold stocks, nowadays offer some enormous investment opportunities. They fell so low, along with most base metals prices that, particularly with the improved economic recovery in the U.S. and in some other nations, and with China showing some positive growth indications again, there is relatively little downside remaining.
Indeed base metals stocks have been some of the best performers so far this year as they have risen off their nadirs. And in the junior sector in particular, selective stock picking – i.e. those with good projects, the finances to survive any continuing price malaise and successful management teams – should, like similarly placed gold juniors, ultimately pay off in spades………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman Sachs says copper to underperform other base metals

Posted on 04 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Goldman Sachs said it expects copper to underperform other base metal prices over the next 12 months, citing the red metal’s heavy exposure to China’s property sector, which it expects to remain bearish this year and next. The bank also said copper has entered a once-in-20-year supply cycle, which started in the second half of 2012 and is set to last through to 2016/17, following a decade of high capital expenditure investment in the industry, raising trend supply growth to about 4-5 percent from about 2 percent over the past decade.
Goldman lowered its 2015 average copper price forecast to $6,400 per tonne from $6,600, in a note to clients dated July 23. The investment bank also cut its 2016 outlook to $6,600 per tonne from $7,000 partly due to expectations of lower marginal production costs. Goldman Sachs, however, said it is bullish for nickel, zinc and aluminium on a 12-month view………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper clash

Posted on 04 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The surcharge that copper buyers are expected to pay to secure the metal in Europe declined to a 15-month low amid weak summer demand and ample supply, according to three people who trade the market. The spot premium is about $90 a metric ton delivered to Rotterdam in the past month, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak to the media.
That compares with $110 as of July 4. The surcharge, which ranged as low as $75 and as high as $100, is the lowest since April 2013. Traders cited slow demand in Europe as factories shut for summer vacations. Better availability of scrap metal further curbed demand for refined copper, they said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Doubts creeping in over stellar zinc price run

Posted on 04 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

While the aluminum price was the strongest price performer among industrial metals in July, zinc again enjoyed a stellar month, rising almost 8% over June. The price of zinc rose to a near-three year high of $2,416 a tonne last week as the base metal continues to benefit from expected supply cuts due to the scheduled closures of Australia’s Century, Namibia’s Skorpion and the Lisheen mine in Ireland.
Lisheen and Black Mountain, both controlled by London-listed Vedanta, also suffered production disruptions this year, further boosting the price of the base metal………………………………………..Full Article: Source

After China port fraud probe, messy legal fight chills metal trade

Posted on 04 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As global banks and trading houses fire off lawsuits over their estimated $900 million (534 million pounds) exposure to a suspected metal financing fraud in China, the tangled legal battle to recoup losses is set to drag on for years and hinder a swift recovery in metal trade.
HSBC is the latest bank to launch legal action since Chinese authorities started a probe into whether the firm at the centre of the allegations, Decheng Mining, used fake warehouse receipts to obtain multiple loans………………………………………..Full Article: Source

London platinum/palladium fixes seek third-party admin, in wake of silver/gold

Posted on 01 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world of precious metals price setting was once again in the spotlight Thursday on the back of news that The London Platinum and Palladium Fixing Company Limited is looking for a third party to administrate the daily London platinum and palladium fixes.
The news came hot on the heels of an announcement Tuesday that The London Gold Market Fixing Limited and the London Bullion Market Association are seeking proposals from third parties to “assume administration” of the future London gold fix. The entire London “fixing” process has been in the spotlight for many months on the back of increased regulatory scrutiny………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Don’t ignore precious metals

Posted on 01 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

What is hard about investing? It’s not the simple mechanics of investing. Nowadays if you have the money, it’s easy to open an online trading account and start trading. You don’t even have to talk to anyone usually, just mail in a check to the broker and off you go. So the how or mechanics of investing is not hard.
Is finding what to trade hard? This is an interesting question. I would submit that finding what to trade is not the hard part about investing either. Studies have shown that selecting stocks at random, a.k.a. monkeys throwing darts at a dartboard, have outperformed market averages in a wide variety of years. But this is only because stocks as an asset class tend to move in the same direction, creating bull and bear market trends over time………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bargains abound in rebounding base metals sector

Posted on 01 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

After a brutal reckoning, the base metals sector is starting to generate some cautious optimism amid early indications of an uptrend. While any optimism for mining stocks has generally been punished over the past three years, the demoted sector now features some discount valuations. And now that many fears over China have eased, and the U.S. economy is perking up, base metals prices have begun to advance, drawing some renewed investor attention.
“This is an industry that was absolutely savaged. It’s not unlike what happened with American banks,” said Terry Shaunessy, president and portfolio manager at Shaunessy Investment Counsel………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Robust copper price prompts switch to aluminum

Posted on 31 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In New York trade on Wednesday copper rallied after much stronger than anticipated US GDP figures, reaching a high of $3.2625. Defying market expectations, the copper price dug itself out of a near four-year low struck mid-March of $2.92 a pound and has gained more than 7% since early June. The metal is now down only 4% in 2014.
The copper price is highly correlated with economic growth thanks to the widespread use of the metal in the construction, transport and power industries, and the robustness of the red metal is prompting industry to switch to much cheaper aluminum for some applications………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shrinking mining professional ranks may impact investors - HSBC

Posted on 31 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

“A well-established feature of the precious metals market is the apparent inability for producers to raise production levels when demand and prices rise,” said HSBC analysts James Steel and Howard Wen.
“The paucity of trained professionals’ expertise helps explain—along with other factors—the weak supply response by producers to the surge in precious metals prices in 200-2012,” observed HSBC. “This is important to investors because it arguably contributed to the height and longevity of the precious metals rally; it also implies that future rallies are unlikely to be cut short by a rapid increase in mine output.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

HK expected to stay ahead as Asian precious metals hub

Posted on 30 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hong Kong will maintain its status as an Asian precious metals hub in the face of competition from Shanghai and Singapore, according to Brink’s Co, which is opening a new vault in the city. The Richmond, Virginia-based maker of surveillance systems and armored trucks should finish the vault early in the fourth quarter, Guy Bullen, senior vice-president for Asia Pacific, said in an interview last week. That will double Brink’s gold and silver handling capacity in the city, Mr Bullen said, without elaborating.
China overtook India as the largest gold consumer last year, according to the World Gold Council. Singapore Exchange Ltd will introduce a physical gold contract this year while Shanghai will start international gold trading in the fourth quarter, a government official had earlier said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zinc, lead buoyed as value hunters tune into global growth story

Posted on 30 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Zinc prices matched three-year highs hit the session before on Tuesday and lead inched to a new 17-month top as investors ploughed into metals that have lagged this year and appear undervalued on prospects of reviving global growth.
Manufacturing growth in the world’s top metals user China expanded at its fastest clip in 18 months in July, an initial survey showed, while in general the U.S. economy has gathered pace, with a brightening picture seen in its labour market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aluminium gains industrial lustre

Posted on 30 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

When it comes to conductivity, copper is king of the industrial metals. Thanks to its low level of resistivity – how strongly a material opposes the flow of current – the red metal’s main use is in electrical applications.
Aluminium is copper’s closest rival, albeit an inferior one by most measures. When the prices of the two metals were similar, as at the start of 2002, the choice of copper for cabling in everything from power lines to automotive wiring was a no-brainer………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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