Thu, Apr 24, 2014
A A A
Welcome kbr175@gmail.com
RSS

Commodities Briefing - Category | Metals and Minerals more

Will Iron ore to slump towards year end?

Posted on 24 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iron ore has steadily rebuilt on price over the last two weeks, in the wake of an 8 per cent drop that left miners quaking in their steel-capped boots. Steel Index data showed that 62 per cent fines finished the week at Tianjin port at $110.70 per tonne.
This price is still down 17.5 per cent on the start of the year, and despite the recent recovery, independent research house Capital Economics senior commodities economist Caroline Bain has predicted the price will drop to $95 by the end of the year, and $85 the following year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How to cut a deal with gold miners

Posted on 21 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Give those guys a gold star. Gold-mining stocks, so bad for so long, are finally doing what they are supposed to. Namely, offer leveraged exposure to a gold-price rally. Gold is up 11% so far this year; mining stocks have jumped 21%.
That is in sharp contrast to recent years: In 2011, for example, gold hit an all-time high and gained 9%; mining stocks fell 16%. The miners’ rehabilitation, though, isn’t complete. Investors should look for deals—in more ways than one………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper as economy sage fails as growth defies slump: Commodities

Posted on 21 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper, dubbed by traders as the metal with the economics Ph.D., may need a new nickname. While the world economy is forecast to expand by the most in three years, the metal that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said he once considered a useful indicator is plunging.
Prices in New York are off to the worst start to a year since the Comex futures debuted in 1988. In the past 16 quarters, copper moved in the same direction as global gross domestic product just six times. In December, its correlation to the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was the lowest since 2008………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Miners making hay as gold shines on price rises

Posted on 20 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Goldminers are rapidly making use of the funding window that has opened up thanks to the recent rise in the gold price. Indochine Mining is the latest, seeking $20 million at a hefty premium to its share price. It launched the raising late last week and by Wednesday had $15 million. It expects to raise the rest in the next few days.
The raising comes as Kingsgate Consolidated seeks $60 million at a discount of 30 per cent to its share price. Doray Minerals raised $17 million last month, Silver Lake $40 million, Perseus $30 million and Saracen $60 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Steel industry urges overhaul of EU carbon-trading system

Posted on 20 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The European Union should consider granting more free carbon allowances to most efficient energy-intensive companies and exclude such permits from trading, according to the EU steel industry lobby Eurofer.
The 28-nation bloc must base the allocation of greenhouse-gas quotas to manufacturers on less stringent emissions benchmarks to keep its industry competitive amid widening energy price gaps with the U.S. and Japan, Eurofer Director General Gordon Moffat said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Area near $1,470 may act as ‘magnet’ for platinum ahead of options expiry

Posted on 19 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The areas around $1,470 for platinum and $770 for palladium potentially could act as magnets ahead of options expirations this week, traders said. Settlement for Nymex April platinum and palladium options is Wednesday. More options expiries occur next week, with Comex gold and silver expirations set for March 26.
Analysts said the number of open positions in options for platinum and palladium are small relative to the market and also compared to gold, thus expiries may not affect these metals as much as is the case for the yellow metal………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nickel moves over $16,000/mt on Indonesia raw material export ban

Posted on 19 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Three-months nickel on LMEselect Tuesday breached $16,000/mt for the first time since April 2013 on the back of Indonesia’s decision to ban the export of raw materials, including nickel ore. The increase in nickel prices has seen the metal shift from the worst performing metal on the London Metal Exchange in 2013, to the best performing metal so far in 2014.
Three-months nickel on LMEselect has risen by around 22% this year, from a low of $13,334/mt in January to a year high of $16,230/mt in March. David Wilson, director of metals research and strategy at Citi Research, said technical issues are supporting nickel prices from a heightened interest in the metal due to the Indonesian ban on nickel ore exports………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nickel bull market on Russian supply fears

Posted on 19 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nickel entered a bull market on speculation Russian supplies will be disrupted at a time when some shipments are already banned in Indonesia.
Last year’s worst performer among industrial metals trading on the London Metal Exchange is this year’s best, gaining 16 percent and on track for the first annual gain since 2010. Prices fell 24 percent in 2011 after touching $29,425 a metric ton in February that year, the highest since April 2008. Indonesia, the biggest producer of mined nickel, banned ore exports in January………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper awaits further decline on global economic worries

Posted on 19 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper price fell 13% so far this year due to various macroeconomic worries ranging from Chinese credit tightening concerns, Russia-Ukraine tensions, sluggish Japanese and US economic data that led to overall slide in industrial commodities.
In the last three session over the previous week, copper recorded one of its sharpest fallsof around 9% to settle at $6380 a tonne on the London Metal Exchange (LME) from $7220 a tonne. With this slide, copper hit the lowest level sinceJune 2010. Apparently, its demand is being questioned further as China , the world’s largest consumer, sees exports and inflation contracting at a fasterrate than expected………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is Dr. Copper really Dr. Gloom?

Posted on 19 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The strong rally in global stock markets was not a surprise after last Thursday’s 2.42 reading in the Arms Index .It signaled that the market was oversold on a short-term basis. The Dow Industrials led the S&P 500 while the oil service and semiconductor stocks were the strongest.
The market internals were pretty strong on Monday but another equally strong up day is needed to turn the short-term momentum positive. A weak rally with minimal price gains will make the market more vulnerable as we head into the end of the week………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global stainless steel production growth positive at 7.8pct in 2013

Posted on 19 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) has released preliminary figures for 2013 showing that stainless steel melt shop production increased by 7.8% to 38.1 million metric tons (mmt). With the exception of Western Europe and Africa, all regions achieved positive growth.
Asia excluding China recorded a production of 8.8 mmt during 2013 corresponding to a y–o–y increase of 0.8%. But growth throughout the region ranged from +5.4% (India) to -3.7% (Taiwan, China). Production levels in Japan and South Korea remained unchanged………………………………………..Full Article: Source

CME Group to launch North American aluminum futures

Posted on 19 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, announced today it will launch North American physically delivered Aluminum futures contracts to begin trading on May 5, 2014, pending all regulatory approvals.
This new contract will build on CME Group’s existing suite of base metals products, including the Aluminum MW U.S. Transaction Premium Platts (25MT) futures contract, which was introduced in April 2012. These new Aluminum futures contracts will offer global aluminum market participants a new tool for managing their exposure to volatile North American prices, while giving them access to physical aluminum at a number of CME Group-approved warehouses across the U.S. (Press Release)

Mitsubishi: Palladium could test $800/oz

Posted on 18 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Mitsubishi sees potential for palladium to test the $800-an-ounce level. Nymex palladium futures got above $788 Friday before falling back on profit-taking, the firm says. Support came last week from a 19% year-on-year rise in Japanese passenger car sales, although Mitsubishi adds that this may have been affected by a consumer rush to buy before a rise in the sales tax next month.
Stronger auto sales bode well for palladium since it used for emissions-control systems. “Supported by geopolitical tensions in Ukraine as well as the ongoing South African PGM (platinum-group-metals) mining strike, palladium could make further gains in the coming days, perhaps testing the $800 level,” Mitsubishi says………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s debt crisis to hit industrial metals

Posted on 18 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

All the warning signals point to a continuing slide in prices as the full extent of China’s economic problems emerge and bearish sentiment grips commodity trading houses. Investors in vital industrial metals such as copper and iron ore will have their nerves tested again this week after China’s unfolding debt crisis caused volatility on commodity markets.
All the warning signals are now pointing to a continuing slide in prices as the full extent of China’s economic problems emerges and bearish sentiment grips the large commodity trading houses………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s debt defaults to hit industrial metals as trading unravels

Posted on 17 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

All the warning signals are now pointing to a continuing slide in prices as the full extent of China’s economic problems emerges and bearish sentiment grips the large commodity trading houses.
Investors in vital industrial metals such as copper and iron ore will have their nerves tested again this week after China’s unfolding debt crisis caused volatility on commodity markets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper prices below $5,000 could threaten Zambian mines - minister

Posted on 17 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Zambian mines are still operating profitably despite the fall in copper prices but could be threatened if the price dropped below $5,000 per tonne, Mines Minister Christopher Yaluma said on Saturday.
Copper markets have been edgy over slowing Chinese demand and fears that credit upheaval in the world’s second-biggest economy could unwind financing deals using the metal as collateral. Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange has been falling steadily since January and sank to a 44-month low of $6,376.25 on Wednesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Paul Adams remains bullish on Platinum, Palladium

Posted on 14 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Paul Adams thinks the current gold price is about right, plus/minus $100 per oz ($100/oz). Wobbles in the emerging markets have prompted gold’s recent move up into the $1,300/oz range.
The consensus data for the industrial metals generally looks positive for 2014 and into 2015. Obviously, we want to see what effect the Indonesian ban on raw exports will have. That’s very important to nickel prices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SA platinum sector is dead, long live the new platinum sector

Posted on 14 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

What was clear from the presentations and conversations in Toronto during this year’s Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada conference is that the long-term future of South Africa’s platinum sector lies not in the deep-vein, shanty-town-lined mines of old but rather in the newer, shallower mines that afford more opportunities to local communities and for mechanisation.
From a cost point of view, this, at least on paper, was obvious in a slide shown by Mike Jones, CEO of Platinum Group Metals, during his presentation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

BNP Paribas favors lead, tin, zinc over copper

Posted on 14 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

BNP Paribas is reiterating its position favoring lead, tin and zinc over copper in the base-metals complex. The bank points out copper fell to its forecast of $6,500 as metric ton even sooner than it expected. BNP Paribas says it still looks for the copper market to move into a “material but far from catastrophic” supply surplus in 2014-15.
The bank says it still has a positive view on demand, looking for growth of more than 10% over the next two years. However, the bank also looks for world mine production to rise by about 10% over 2014-15, with refined production outpacing mine output. The bank says a copper rally above $7,000 likely would present a selling opportunity………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper bottomed

Posted on 14 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper has fallen sharply in the last week, reaching its lowest level in nearly four years. The metal is traditionally seen as a barometer of global activity although this very long-term chart (which we ran near the market peak in 2011) doesn’t suggest a great deal of reliability. (To update the price from the graph, it is now around $6,400).
The price was falling for much of the 1990s when the economy was doing very well indeed. Nowadays the copper price may say more about events in China than elsewhere; although that still is useful………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper slumps to 44-month low on concern China demand is slowing

Posted on 13 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper reached a 44-month low in London amid concern demand is weakening in China, the biggest consumer of the metal. Futures traded in Shanghai touched the lowest price since 2009.
The metal slumped this week after figures showed exports from China unexpectedly fell the most since 2009 last month. The nation’s central bank will cut reserve ratios for lenders next quarter amid increased downside risks to the economy, Nomura said in a report. China’s industrial output slowed in February as retail sales sped up, economists said before data tomorrow………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is the copper crash an opportunity or a crisis?

Posted on 13 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper has been getting a lot of attention as of late. A severe breakdown took place just over the last few days, and media outlet after media outlet is putting a spotlight on the metal. Because copper is so pervasive in industrial production and infrastructure building, the argument goes that its price movement can be indicative of future global growth expectations, particularly in China, which is, at the margin, the largest consumer of all.
In the case of China, copper (and other commodities) have often been used as collateral for lenders, which makes the potential for “margin calls” on the ground high when prices crater and the value of that collateral drops………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why miners aren’t panicking about the latest commodity drop

Posted on 13 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

While steep declines in copper, iron ore and coking coal prices have spooked investors, they are not severe enough to disrupt the mining sector at this stage. The vast majority of projects can generate decent margins at these price levels, according to experts. Though in the case of coal, there has been enough of a drop to make high-cost producers nervous.
Prices for all three commodities have been under pressure throughout 2014, but they plummeted over the last several days due to economic concerns out of China. Manufacturing activity has been weaker than expected, and a bond default by a solar company raised fears of tighter credit conditions. That hit the copper market in particular, as many Chinese companies use the red metal as collateral to raise money………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Will platinum, palladium and silver outperform gold this year?

Posted on 12 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

So far this year gold has probably been the best performing asset class of all having risen around 12% to date. But, within the overall precious metals sector, silver has only moved up a seemingly disappointing 7%, platinum 8% and palladium perhaps an even more disappointing 5% - despite analysts almost being unanimous in their views that the platinum group metals (pgms) in particular will outperform given the ongoing industrial action in South Africa, the world’s largest producer.
The South African situation is potentially severely disrupting supplies, while the global economy is seen as being in a recovery phase, which should indeed be a positive for the pgms given that within the Western recovery – and also with ongoing Chinese sales increasing – the automobile sector seems to be doing particularly well and that is the principal user of pgms, especially palladium………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Could graphite be the ‘next big thing’ for commodity traders?

Posted on 12 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Advances in automotive battery technology are making graphite the next big thing for commodity investors. Graphite is the critical material for the new generation of batteries, even more than lithium or rare earths.
Focus Graphite President and Chief Operating Officer Don Baxter explains the eyebrow-raising supply/demand picture of the graphite industry, the attractive financials of the Lac Knife project and the significance of the graphite industry’s first offtake agreement, including what it means to investors looking to understand an unfamiliar but well-positioned market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mining unlikely to be a fun place to be in 2014 - Wrathall

Posted on 12 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

All manner of sins can be covered up by a bull market: exorbitant salaries, poor returns, bad projects, to name but a few. But, as has been clearly shown over the last few years, we are definitely no longer in a bull market and, some of the sins of the past have come back to haunt mining companies.
Jeremy Wrathall, head of Investec’s Global Natural Resources team, explains that while there has, indeed, been some optimism creeping into the market of late, there is no reason to be wildly optimistic that things are going to return to the halcyon days before 2007………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mining unlikely to be a fun place to be in 2014 - Wrathall

Posted on 11 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

All manner of sins can be covered up by a bull market: exorbitant salaries, poor returns, bad projects, to name but a few. But, as has been clearly shown over the last few years, we are definitely no longer in a bull market and, some of the sins of the past have come back to haunt mining companies.
Speaking to Mineweb in Cape Town recently, just following the 2014 edition of the Investing in African Mining Indaba, Jeremy Wrathall, head of Investec’s Global Natural Resources team, explains that while there has, indeed, been some optimism creeping into the market of late, there is no reason to be wildly optimistic that things are going to return to the halcyon days before 2007………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zinc vulnerable to increase in inventory, Nickel to post modest gains

Posted on 10 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The rally in zinc and nickel was driven by a combination of short covering and fresh positioning, according to Barclays. Short covering in particular was triggered following the breach of technical levels, especially at $15,000 per ton for nickel. LME open interest data have been rising,which also illustrates a rise in fresh positioning, with new longs being added by discretionary investors.
Barclays expects zinc prices to be vulnerable to increase in LME stocks if the large short position in the March contract is physically delivered against. For nickel, it expects modest uptick in prices, the risk/reward of fresh longs at current levels is unattractive………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How much upside do precious metals have?

Posted on 07 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Tension between Russia and Ukraine are high, sending precious metals significantly higher as a safe haven bid. The question of whether this has the potential of becoming World War III or if the conflict is just a mere diplomatic disagreement are now the two polar opposites pulling on precious metals’ prices as the significant rally Monday was countered with a sizable pullback Tuesday.
The trend in precious metals prices since December suggest the market is taking the conflict seriously, but how much more upside should metal owners expect?……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Nickel prices at nine-month high

Posted on 06 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nickel prices settled above $15,000 per tonne for the first time since June 2013 during the official session on the London Metal Exchange on Wednesday March 5. The slight easing of tensions in Ukraine helped to bolster all the base metals, while nickel in particular was supported by the triggering of stops and improving fundamentals.
“At the moment, on nickel, there are concerns about concentrates shipments from Indonesia,” a category I trader told Metal Bulletin. “People were talking about China having over a year’s supply, but I think that’s been slightly overdone………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Current copper price forecast tied to non-metal commodities

Posted on 06 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

MetalMiner’s monthly copper price index dropped 1.1 percent for March, while we’re seeing an opposite trend in other commodities markets. The LME 3-month price went down 0.5 percent, from $7,061 to $7,026 per metric ton. Copper seems not capable to reach levels above $7,500 per metric ton as it remains under an overall downtrend.
Copper is an economically sensitive commodity and it serves as a benchmark for the industrial metal sector, which still looks pessimistic. What is especially interesting is that the rest of the commodity groups are finally showing strength since the beginning of the year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

What do treasuries and copper know that equities don’t?

Posted on 06 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Are Treasuries and copper sending us a message that’s different from what the stock market is telling us? I think so. As stocks continue to hit record highs on a regular basis, Treasury yields have been sinking — an indication that bond prices were climbing. A number of investors were seeking the safe haven of Treasuries, despite the fact that stock prices were soaring. Why?
Although we have seen the demand for Treasuries surge since the beginning of the Crimea crisis, a look at the chart for the ten-year Treasury yield depicts a massive, fully-formed, head-and-shoulders pattern, which would suggest that the decline in Treasury yields has just begun. Also, since the beginning of 2014, Treasury yields have been in a steady downtrend………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mining companies cut exploration budgets sharply in 2013: SNL Metals & Mining

Posted on 04 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The latest World Exploration Trends report from SNL Metals & Mining reveals that all company types cut their exploration activity sharply in 2013 in response to lower metals prices, uncertain demand, and poor market conditions. The result was a 29% decrease in estimated worldwide nonferrous metals exploration budgets compared with 2012.
SNL Metals & Mining’s 24th edition of Corporate Exploration Strategies (CES) shows that the mining industry’s total budget for nonferrous metals exploration was US $15.2 billion in 2013, significantly lower than the record US $21.5 billion total in 2012………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The need for commodities is ‘as solid as a rock’

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

While the head of the International Council on Mining and Metals doesn’t believe anyone will see the big run up in metals we did a few years ago, the miners should be optimistic about the economy. “While there are not fantastic times ahead, there are very positive signals in the world economy,” said Dr. Anthony Hodge.
“The growth projections for China are solid at 7% to 7.5%, although we may see a shrinkage in the early part of 2014, but it’s almost guaranteed that it will pop back up and China will meet those targets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The other precious metal: Tin reaches 20-week high

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Tin reached a 20-week high in London after a minimum price was set by the only exchange allowed to trade the metal before export from Indonesia, the world’s biggest shipper of ore.
The tin committee at the Indonesia Commodity and Derivatives Exchange agrees on the price each Monday, according to Sukrisno, president director of PT Timah, the country’s biggest producer and a panel member. Rules requiring tin to be traded on the exchange before export took effect Aug. 30. Tin stockpiles tracked by the London Metal Exchange are at the lowest since January 2009………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU derivatives rules sow confusion in metals markets

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

New European Union rules designed to bring stability and clarity to opaque derivatives markets are sowing confusion among metals brokers, raising more questions than answers for clients and throwing the fate of smaller firms into doubt.
The bloc’s European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) is a package of reforms drawn up in response to the global financial crisis, in which less regulated market conditions allowed contagion to spread quickly………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zinc: Bullish fundamentals to start impacting markets in 2014

Posted on 26 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The long anticpated supply tightening in zinc is emerging as recent zinc mine corporate data suggests, according to Barclays Plc. Barclays which tracks close to 20% of global supplies reported that major zinc producers have reported 4% lower production on a year on year basis with ouput contracting at half the mines.
“During 2013, zinc performed fairly better than its peers from the base metals complex, fetching a marginal negative return of 0.57%. In the year 2011, zinc prices plummeted by 24%, the most among other base metals on the back of supply surplus and high legacy inventory,” according to Nirmal Bang Commodity Year Book 2014………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Vale sees nickel over $20,000 a ton on Indonesia ban

Posted on 26 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nickel will climb significantly in 2015 and may advance to more than $20,000 a metric ton in the next few years because of Indonesia’s ban on ore exports, said Vale SA (VALE5), the world’s second-biggest producer.
The restrictions that Indonesia put in place last month probably won’t be eased, Peter Poppinga, executive director for base metals at the Rio de Janeiro-based company, said in a Feb. 21 interview. Big price movements are unlikely this year because of the high level of stockpiles in China, he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Top 10 gold miners losing billions – but are they really?

Posted on 25 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Based on recent headlines, non-financially-aware observer could be forgiven for thinking mining gold is a sure way to lose money, not to make it. Take the following batch from Mineweb over the past couple of weeks: Barrick cuts reserves 26%; reports $10.34 billion loss.
Goldcorp reports $2.71 billion loss; cuts reserves 15%. Newmont Mining reports $2.5 billion loss for 2013. Kinross Gold reports $3B loss: 33% cut in GEO reserves - to name the most recent. Overall, the world’s top 5 gold miners between them made book losses of some $20.8 billion in 2013. The smaller members of the Top 10 gold mining club who have reported to date all also made book losses, but not quite on the same scale, commensurate with their smaller outputs………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zinc: Bullish fundamentals to start impacting markets in 2014

Posted on 25 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The long anticpated supply tightening in zinc is emerging as recent zinc mine corporate data suggests, according to Barclays Plc. Barclays which tracks close to 20% of global supplies reported that major zinc producers have reported 4% lower production on a year on year basis with ouput contracting at half the mines.
“During 2013, zinc performed fairly better than its peers from the base metals complex, fetching a marginal negative return of 0.57%. In the year 2011, zinc prices plummeted by 24%, the most among other base metals on the back of supply surplus and high legacy inventory,” according to Nirmal Bang Commodity Year Book 2014………………………………………..Full Article: Source

What are supply and demand fundamentals in Copper?

Posted on 25 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

I’d characterize the copper market as being infected with “short-termism.” Mine supply grew quite spectacularly in 2013: between 6% and 7%. How sustainable is that growth? In a couple of years, we could easily have the same problem we had a decade ago, when mine supply lagged behind demand.
One-third of global copper supply comes from Chile. This country is increasingly constrained by power and water supplies; labor rates are rising as well. Chile’s state-owned copper enterprise, the Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (CODELCO), produces about one-tenth of global copper, and it requires something on the order of $20–27 billion ($20–27B) in reinvestment over the next five or six years in order to maintain both current production and grow its production base. That will be quite difficult………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why Chinese metals markets are warping commodity data

Posted on 25 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Steel prices in China have been close to all time lows, iron ore looks shaky as well, as demand falters amid worrying manufacturing data, and yet Chinese imports of the two most important commodities in the world are at record levels.
Saxo Bank’s Head of Commodity Strategy Ole Hansen has been analysing the situation. He’s spotted evidence that commodities are being used to finance loans, warping the markets, making it even more tricky to assess the true state of China’s economy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper: Will the surplus be short-lived?

Posted on 24 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world copper market is interestingly poised. It is starting the year 2014 with a small deficit, but is set to end the year in a surplus. The surplus may continue for quite some time, thanks to substantial additions to supply over the coming years.
As a result, demand is unlikely to be constrained by prices while such prices may limit additional capacity. In 2013, there was a combination of strong growth in mine supply, weak growth in scrap supply as well as decline in capacity utilisation in smelters, as a result of which global supplies increased. In 2014, new mine supply should expand more rapidly and smelters are expected to operate at a higher utilisation rate, raising overall output………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Uranium is ready to roar back

Posted on 24 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Uranium prices are set to improve significantly in 2014 for a number of reasons. Today, the fundamentals for uranium and nuclear power generation are stronger than ever. More reactors are under construction, planned and proposed than before the Fukushima incident. For uranium prices to appreciate in the foreseeable future, one must look not only at the reactors under construction worldwide, but the ones coming online soon.
China has 28 reactors under construction, yet 5 are ready to be connected to the grid this year. Japan has submitted applications for 17 reactors to be restarted, whereas analysts are expecting at least 6-8 reactors to be granted permission for restart in 2014. Both China and Japan are set to add vast amounts of demand back into the uranium market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Rarest of rare iridium gains as growth spurs demand

Posted on 21 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iridium, the rarest of the seven precious metals traded internationally, is showing signs of life as economic growth fuels demand for the commodity used in spark plugs and light-emitting diodes for televisions.
After plunging 62 percent last year, the biggest slump since 2002, iridium rose 21 percent since the end of December to a three-month high of $485 an ounce yesterday, Johnson Matthey Plc data show. Prices remain 55 percent below a 2011 record………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Where are miners and metals companies in the circular economy?

Posted on 21 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As consumer goods companies dominate circular economy conversations, miners and metals companies need to step up. What do you think of when you imagine a truly sustainable global economy? For most people the detail is sketchy but two things are clear: greenhouse gas emissions will be lower and the intensity with which we use virgin raw materials reduced.
Although it still seems the majority of global debate is fixated on energy, questions of resource sustainability are rapidly gaining rightful prominence………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zinc and lead: beauty in the eye of the beholder?

Posted on 20 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Not so long ago, zinc and lead were the “ugly sisters” of the London Metal Exchange (LME) base metals suite, both burdened by consecutive years of surplus and high inventories.
The peak of the commodities super-cycle has come and gone, and you’d be hard pressed to discern its passage through the prism of these two industrial metals. With no spectacular bull runs such as seen in copper and iron ore, they went through a long, long period of largely sideways grind………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oversupply forces aluminium industry cuts

Posted on 19 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Two of the world’s three biggest aluminium producers have announced cuts to production in the latest sign of how weak prices and oversupply are weighing on the industry.
US company Alcoa said on Monday it was shutting its 190,000 tonne-a-year Point Henry smelter in Australia since the plant had “no prospect of becoming financially viable”. Two rolling mills there will also be permanently closed. Alcoa’s total closures or curtailments to production now represent 551,000 tonnes of capacity, or about 1 per cent of world supply of the metal………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s record copper, iron ore imports are not being put to work

Posted on 19 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The copper price’s February comeback accelerated on Tuesday, bringing gains so far this month to more than 4%. In New York trade spot copper jumped 2c to $3.34 a pound, up from $3.20 hit at the end of January over fears of a marked slowdown in the economy of number one consumer China.
For 2014 economists are predicting 7.4% which would make it the slowest nominal growth since 1990. Given its widespread use in transportation, manufacturing and construction the copper price is sensitive to any economic slowdown………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sorting reality from hype in the rare Earth industry: Ryan Castilloux

Posted on 19 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China has two competing REE industries: legal and illegal. This results in an abundance of REE suppliers. End-users are aware of this and exploit it by shopping around. They use the last guy’s offer to negotiate a lower price with the next supplier, and ultimately, the spread between prices widens, and prices trickle downward.
China’s consolidation plans aim to remedy this situation. The Baotou Rare Earth Products Exchange shares this goal. In the long term and in the context of the recent World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling against China’s REE restrictions and tariffs, consolidation is a power play. It aims to drive down production costs, so that China can undercut emerging suppliers, should it find its grip on the industry weakening………………………………………..Full Article: Source

banner
banner
April 2014
S M T W T F S
« Mar    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930