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Metal prices

Posted on 29 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Economist’s metals index has fallen by 46% from its peak in 2011, largely because of slowing demand in China. Supply disruptions caused occasional spikes: nickel prices rose in the first half of 2014 after Indonesia banned metal-ore exports and zinc prices jumped in 2015 after mine closures.
Metals prices have rallied in the past few months, however, thanks to a weaker dollar and a credit surge in China. The price of iron ore, a steel-making ingredient, has jumped by 70% since December. The value of tin has increased because Indonesia, the world’s second-biggest producer, introduced regulations to halt illegal trade that also curbed exports; recent flooding has also restricted access to mining areas………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron Ore Bear Holds Fast Even After `the Market Got It So Wrong’

Posted on 29 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iron ore’s surprise rally may be a thing of the past in just three months. Rising supply will top demand once more and the sudden jump in speculative trading in China that’s helped support gains is set to fizzle out, according to Brazil’s Itau Unibanco Holding SA.
The commodity will probably soon be back below $50 a metric ton, and may end the year at about $42, Artur Manoel Passos, an economist in Sao Paulo at Latin America’s largest bank by market value, said in an interview. Last week, iron ore traded as high as $70.46………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How Shanghai trading is changing the physical nickel market

Posted on 29 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Everyone’s talking about Chinese speculators. This year has seen an unprecedented surge of trading volumes and open interest in Chinese markets as institutional and retail investors pour money into commodities.
Both the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) and the Dalian Exchange are upping margin requirements and transaction fees to try and calm overheating contracts such as steel rebar and iron ore. The stampede appears to have been halted with both prices and trading activity losing some of their recent froth. But the current trading frenzy shouldn’t distract from the growing global influence of China’s domestic commodity exchanges………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper hits lowest in a week on China speculator crackdown

Posted on 28 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper dipped to the lowest in a week on its third straight day of losses as a crackdown on speculators in China dampened sentiment, though metals markets were supported by a weaker dollar and strong oil prices.
Iron ore and steel futures in China led a retreat as the authorities raised trading costs to deter speculative investors believed to be behind last week’s big spike in prices and volumes that raised fears of a destabilising crash………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aluminium looks vulnerable to pullback, iron ore less so: Russell

Posted on 28 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

If there is a common theme emerging from the recent strong gains in commodity prices, it’s that the extent of the rally isn’t justified by fundamentals and is therefore largely speculative.
Assuming this market consensus is correct, it’s logical to assume that at some point the heat will go out of the market and prices will stabilise or retreat. It would also be logical to assume that the gains in some commodities have been more justifiable than those for others, given the differences in supply and demand dynamics………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Chinese commodity curbs hit iron and steel futures

Posted on 27 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s heavily traded iron ore and steel futures slid Tuesday after curbs aimed to cut speculation came into effect. The most active iron ore contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed down 6 per cent at 450.5 yuan a tonne, while steel rebar futures dropped 3.8 per cent to close at 2,554 yuan a tonne.
A wave of money has entered China’s commodities markets this month, on improved demand in the steel industry and expectations that China’s government would boost property and infrastructure construction………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron ore price rally will run out of puff

Posted on 26 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Rampant speculation in China’s iron ore and steel rebar futures markets that helped fuel a surprisingly strong rally in Australian iron ore miners in recent weeks may be starting to cool.
While China’s rebar inventories data yesterday showed supplies of the steel rod used in concrete fell for a seventh-straight week, prices of iron ore and rebar futures faltered after regulators acted to stop excessive speculation and analysts warned the price surge was unsustainable………………………………………..Full Article: Source

April Zinc Price Forecast: Surplus Becomes Deficit in 2015

Posted on 26 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The International Lead and Zinc Study Group recently released new data that found the global market for refined zinc recorded a surplus during the first half of 2015, but was in deficit during the second half of the same year.
The London Metal Exchange, Shanghai Futures Exchange and Chinese State Reserve Bureau warehouse inventories — along with those reported by consumers, producers and merchants — decreased in 2015 with 79% of the refined zinc stored in LME warehouses in New Orleans. Want a short- and medium-term buying outlook for aluminum, copper, tin, lead, zinc, nickel and several forms of steel? Sign up for your free trial to our monthly buying outlook reports!……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Expect 10-15% growth in metal prices by FY17: StanChart Bank

Posted on 26 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Chinese property sector has recovered dramatically since the beginning of the year with an upswing in construction activity. This has had a positive impact on steel prices, says Nicholas Snowdon, metals analyst - global research at Standard Chartered Bank.
Nicholas Snowdon, metals analyst - global research at Standard Chartered Bank, expects 10-15 percent rise in metal prices by the end of the current fiscal. The dollar is going to weaken and oil prices will continue to rebound, he says………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron ore’s surprise rally looks on borrowed time

Posted on 25 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Steel ingredient stands out as the top performing major commodity of 2016. Caught between slowing Chinese demand and relentless production growth 2016 was supposed to be bring more pain for the iron ore industry, which has seen prices tumble since peaking at nearly $200 a tonne five years ago.
So far things haven’t played out that way. Instead of sinking to $30 a tonne as many analysts had predicted, the steelmaking commodity has surged in value. Boosted by rising Chinese steel prices and supply disruptions in Australia and Brazil, it has gained more than 50 per cent this year and hit a 15-month high of $68.70 a tonne on Thursday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities slump has not created a buyer’s market for mines

Posted on 21 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Wanted: One mine, just started or close to production, preferably gold, must be in secure country with high-quality ore body and low costs. Also, must be cheap.
The above shopping list was the most common response from investors when quizzed about what they are looking for in the commodity sphere during last week’s Mining Investment Asia conference in Singapore. The near impossibility of satisfying the requirements probably explains why there aren’t that many mining deals actually being done, despite the low prices for many commodities………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aluminium paces base metals higher in London

Posted on 21 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Aluminium hit a six-month peak on Wednesday as the appetite for risk increased among investors who took a more upbeat view on the Chinese economy and saw commodities as relatively cheap. A bounce in oil prices also bolstered metals markets, helping send zinc to the highest since July last year and copper to a four-week high.
“I think there’s some restocking coming through in China based on some stability in the economy and generally we’re seeing some risk appetite coming back. There’s a certain warming towards commodities in general,” said Robin Bhar, head of metals research at Societe Generale in London………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron ore break-even points halve but unlikely to dive much further: Citi

Posted on 21 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The “breakeven” point at which the world’s largest iron ore producers are neither making nor losing cash has halved in less than three years but is unlikely to continue its steep decline, Citi says.
The “break-even” points at which the world’s largest iron ore producers are neither making nor losing cash have halved in less than three years but are unlikely to continue their steep decline, Citi says. An analysis conducted by Citi found that in the second half of 2013, the “big five” iron ore producers needed an average benchmark iron ore price of approximately $US64.30 a tonne to break even on exports to China. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

China alumina prices supported as SHFE aluminum hits 8-month high

Posted on 20 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Platts ex-works Shanxi alumina spot assessment stood at Yuan 1,980/mt ($306/mt) full cash terms on Tuesday, up Yuan 20 from Monday, up Yuan 30 on the week and Yuan 50 on the month. Alumina prices have been tracking domestic metal prices higher this week, and are expected to continue testing higher in the near term should aluminum prices remain supported, market participants said.
The front-month aluminum contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange hit an eight-month high on Tuesday to close at Yuan 12,020/mt. The last time the SHFE price was above this level was on August 14, 2015, when the front-month price settled at Yuan 12,030/mt………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron ore prices seen retreating on oversupply, says Citigroup

Posted on 19 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The global iron ore market faces increasingly severe oversupply, according to Citigroup, which said the commodity’s gains will probably be reversed in the second half. Gains in production, including from miners that restarted output after this year’s rally, coupled with likely losses in steel prices, will combine to hurt iron ore, the bank said in a quarterly commodities report received Monday.
While iron ore’s price declines may have been delayed, they’re still coming, analysts led by Ed Morse wrote. Iron ore surged 23 per cent in the first quarter as Chinese mills ramped up output to take advantage of a rebound in steel prices, and some supply was disrupted in Australia. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Copper lifts as funds buy base metals

Posted on 19 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper prices have risen, reversing earlier losses as funds bought base metals on the back of a weaker US dollar and offset the selling triggered by tumbling oil and global equities.
London Metal Exchange benchmark copper ended up 0.4 per cent at $US4,827 a tonne from an earlier session low of $US4,758. “Copper wasn’t hammered like oil and stocks earlier today. That’s a positive sign,” a copper trader said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

PE opportunities switching to base metals

Posted on 19 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The 16% gold price in 2016 has sent stock market valuations soaring higher and the improved margins have provided gold counters with more flexibility in terms of their finances. As a result, the need to complete deals in order to secure much needed funds has become less urgent.
Isser Elishis, chief investment officer of North America’s Waterton Global Resource Management told Bloomberg the best investment opportunities are currently in base metals and that he expects to do half-a-dozen transactions in this space this year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ten years on, lithium may as well be uranium

Posted on 18 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

“Uranium investors beware: there aren’t many bargains left in the sector.” That was the opening of one of the earliest editions of Pure Speculation in 2006. Almost 10 years on, in this column’s final edition today, only the name of the commodity seems to have changed.
Yes, we’re talking lithium in 2016. But 10 years ago, uranium seemed just the ticket, much as lithium does now: at the time of writing that opening line in 2006 there were more than 50 listed juniors with uranium projects (by 2007 the number would go well over 200) and the spot uranium price was $US56 a pound with predictions it could hit $US100/lb (it would go as high as $US136/lb). Then the bubble burst. At present, spot uranium is $US28.50/lb………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper mines shut in Chile as deluge floods Santiago streets

Posted on 18 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Service restoration work to resume production is estimated to take at least three days, equivalent to 5,000 metric tons of copper production. Codelco, the world’s biggest copper producer, and Anglo American Plc shut mines after heavy rains in central Chile over the weekend.
Operations at Codelco’s El Teniente underground mine were halted and homes and roads were inundated as the Cachapoal River broke its banks in the O’Higgins region south of Santiago. Meanwhile, London-based Anglo American suspended its Los Bronces open-pit mine in the Andes mountains above the capital for safety reasons, while continuing some processing using stockpiled ore………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity price slump makes recycling uneconomical

Posted on 18 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Collapsed global commodity prices for metals, paper and crude oil mean the materials households and businesses dutifully place on curb sides are increasingly not worth the cost of collecting.
Everything from used plastic milk bottles to pizza cardboard and even the family car cannot be converted into raw materials at a price low enough to compete with the worldwide flood of cheap iron ore, oil and other commodities, says the Australian Council of Recycling, the $14 billion industry’s peak body………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Private Equity Eyes Base-Metal Deals as Rally Buoys Gold Miners

Posted on 15 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Private equity firm Waterton Global Resource Management is finding the best investment opportunities are in industrial metals as surging gold prices give precious metal companies some “breathing room.”
The Canadian firm, whose billion-dollar investment fund focuses on North American mines, expects to do half a dozen base-metal deals this year as producers continue debt-reduction efforts after prices slumped, Chief Investment Officer Isser Elishis said. In contrast, gold’s 16 percent rally this year is taking pressure off miners to sell assets, at least for now………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China, weaker dollar behind copper price rise

Posted on 15 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A combination of positive signals on the Chinese economy and the fall in the dollar explain rising copper prices over recent days, the head of the Chilean Copper Commission said Thursday. Copper prices have risen almost 4% this week to around $2.19/lb.
Speaking in Santiago, Sergio Hernandez, executive vice-president of the commission, or Cochilco, said a key factor were most positive numbers on the performance of the Chinese economy, which consumes approximately half of the world’s copper………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper Climbs With Metals, Miners as China Data Improves Outlook

Posted on 14 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Industrial metals and mining shares jumped as Chinese trade data showed recovering demand in the biggest consumer of the commodities. Freeport-McMoRan Inc., the biggest publicly traded copper miner, headed for its highest closing price in five months.
China’s overseas shipments grew 11.5 percent in dollar terms in March from a year earlier, compared with a 25 percent slump in February, when factories and offices were closed for a week-long holiday. Copper imports rose for the first time this year, gaining 36 percent on the month to a record 570,000 metric tons………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World’s top copper producer bemoans spectre of speculators

Posted on 14 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Speculators provide ‘sugar’ of liquidity but also create shivers, red metal producer says. The chairman of the world’s biggest copper producer said speculators were haunting the commodities markets, with portfolio flows driving prices rather than fundamentals of supply and demand.
A rise in copper prices over the last decade helped inflate a boom but supply cuts have been slower than needed as prices have slumped, Oscar Landerretche, chairman of Chile’s state-owned copper producer Codelco, told the FT Commodities Global Summit in Lausanne, Switzerland………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US mills drive sheet prices higher on limited availability

Posted on 14 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

US mills have been pushing up their sheet steel prices this week, and buyers reported Wednesday mills were no longer offering spot hot-rolled coil below $500/st. Based on market feedback, Platts raised its daily HRC assessment to $500-$510/st ex-works from $480-$500/st.
The cold-rolled coil assessment edged up to $630-$650/st from $620-$640/st ex-works. Both assessments are normalized to an ex-works Midwest (Indiana) basis. One service center said he placed HRC orders at $505/st and $510/st ex-works this week. “That’s the best I can get at the moment,” he said, adding that some mills are controlling availability too………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Base metals lift on good China trade data

Posted on 14 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Zinc has surged to an eight-month peak and other metals also gained after Chinese trade data brightened the outlook for demand in the world’s biggest metals consumer, prompting some investors to shift back to commodities.
Price gains in zinc and other industrial metals had a snowball effect as they pushed through key levels, sparking more buying by speculators based on technical signals, traders said. The initial catalyst was data showing that China’s exports in March returned to growth for the first time in nine months, adding to further signs of stabilisation in the world’s second-largest economy that cheered regional investors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investment in copper, a boom and bust cycle of a different kind: Andy Home

Posted on 13 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Do you remember JPMorgan’s Physical Copper Trust? Registered in October 2010 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), it was probably one of the most controversial commodity investment vehicles ever conceived.
Although structured as a publicly-traded stock offering, it was to be backed by physical copper, 61,800 tonnes of it. Within days BlackRock had filed for an identical product almost twice the size with an implied holding of 121,000 tonnes. Copper manufacturers were outraged at the concept of nebulous “investors” stepping into the physical supply chain and several of them fought a two-year rearguard action in the courts to block it. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Commodity Currencies Lifted By Strengthening Oil and Ore

Posted on 13 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Signs of strength in commodities are lifting currencies from Australia to Canada. Crude oil futures rose 2.2% on Tuesday morning, pushing further above $40 per barrel. Iron ore jumped 4.6% to $59.22 per dry metric ton, based on ore fines with 62% iron, according to Metal Bulletin.
“Oil in general continues to be a key driver of broader financial markets,” said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange. “With crude above $40 a barrel, we’re seeing that playing out in firmer commodity currencies.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Chinese goldminers seek offshore acquisitions

Posted on 12 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Chinese goldminers are aggressively scouting for overseas acquisitions, encouraged by his­torically low gold prices that could help them scoop up assets cheaply. Though gold prices have risen by more than 16 per cent since hitting a six-year low in December, the metal has still been trading close to levels last seen in 2010, in a range of roughly $US1220-$US1240 a troy ounce.
China is the world’s largest gold consumer and producer, but only a few Chinese companies, such as Zijin Mining Group, have ventured abroad to buy mines, unlike their counterparts in industrial metals………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China Goes Prospecting for World’s Gold Mines

Posted on 11 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hunt by Chinese companies for overseas deals could make China an even bigger player in the global gold market. Chinese gold miners are aggressively scouting for overseas acquisitions, encouraged by historically low gold prices that could help them scoop up assets cheaply.
Though gold prices have risen by more than 16% since hitting a six-year low in December, the metal has still been trading close to levels last seen in 2010, in a range of roughly $1,220 to $1,240 a troy ounce………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mine closures to give Zinc a break

Posted on 11 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Renewed price optimism as tighter supply is expected to decrease stockpiles. Recent fears of a looming shortage in zinc supply have seen the commodity overcome its difficult start to 2016, to emerge as one of the best performing base metals of the first quarter.
After falling almost 30% in 2015, the zinc price succumbed to further selling pressure in mid-January when it hit a six and half year low of $1 444.50/tonne (t) as weak demand and high inventory levels weighed on the market. Since then, the metal price has rallied with the three-month benchmark London Metal Exchange price north of $1 750/t………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The Silver Price Will Rise in 2016 from This One Buying Trend

Posted on 08 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The farther we get in 2016, the better the silver price outlook is. That’s promising news for investors seeking returns in an unstable commodities market. This fact may seem counterintuitive to most silver investors, though. That’s because they know the U.S. Federal Reserve plans to raise interest rates in 2016. And interest rates typically have an inverse relationship with the silver price.
Even so, there’s one trend that will cause silver prices to rise in 2016 despite the Fed’s meddling. But before we touch on this trend, let’s look at how interest rates affect the silver price………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper Slowly Joins Elite Precious Metals’ Club

Posted on 08 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Miners are selling everything from iron ore to coal but holding on to copper as they expect a shortage by the decade-end Copper is a precious metal these days. While top miners such as Anglo American and Glencore are selling anything from iron ore and coal to agricultural assets to pay down debt amid a rout in commodity prices, they’re loath to part with the best copper resources.
That’s because it’s one of the few metals expected to be in shortage by the end of this decade as cooling investment means not enough mines are built………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Big Trouble Ahead For Copper Is Good For Silver Prices

Posted on 07 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It looks there may be trouble ahead for copper. This goes well beyond the falling copper price and annual surpluses. Chinese investors have been buying copper to finance trades. Thus, they have been warehousing one heck of a lot of copper to finance these trades This has kept demand artificially higher, causing mining companies to add more copper production.
Why is this good for silver? As global base metal supply, especially copper, starts to decline, it will drastically impact global silver mine supply. Again, 55% of world silver mine supply comes from copper, zinc and lead production………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UBS: Platinum Group Metals Driven By External Factors For Now

Posted on 07 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Platinum and palladium are drawing limited attention from investors right now, with price moves tending to be driven by external forces such as gold and broader risk sentiment, says UBS.
For instance, these metals have “barely” reacted to news reports of auto sales — important since PGMs are used for catalytic converters – and instead more likely to move on the back of gold and changes in equities. “Interest is lackluster and liquidity conditions are poor,” the bank says………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Miners and Metals Drop on Rising Supply Concern and China Demand

Posted on 06 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Mining stocks and most base metals fell as concerns of rising supply and weak Chinese demand returned following a rebound in prices at the start of the year. The Bloomberg World Mining Index dropped 1 percent, with Glencore Plc and Vedanta Ltd. leading losses of more than 5 percent.
Miners and copper executives gathering at the annual CESCO meeting in Chile don’t appear to be concentrating on output reductions amid a global price slump, said Michael Turek, the head of base metals at BGC Partners Inc. in New York………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper bounces, zinc extends losses on China demand uncertainty

Posted on 06 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper bounced from a one-month low while zinc and other metals extended losses on Tuesday on uncertainty over the economic recovery in China, the world’s biggest raw materials consumer. Chinese shares rose to their highest in nearly three months, helped by a series of policies to aid the nation’s struggling economy, including plans for debt-to-equity swaps.
Investors in commodities, however, are waiting for signs of a strong pick-up in physical demand for industrial metals. A rally in prices from mid-January to mid-March was over-extended, fuelled by speculators, analysts said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nickel inventories are not really moving in the right direction

Posted on 06 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Citi analyst David Wilson’s reading of a key reason the brief rally in nickel prices (up 0.6% earlier this week to US$8,730/t) in the wake of recent lows looks like quickly running out of steam, comes amid similar uncertainty about the direction of copper and aluminium prices.
Wilson told Reuters copper’s recent strengthening wasn’t really buttressed by improvements in economic conditions or supply and demand fundamentals. “The Chinese macro data is slightly better, but there’s still a sense that the price rally into mid-March was a bit overextended,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China stockpiles intrigue copper market

Posted on 06 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Inventories worth $2bn could signal the next round of copper-collateral financing. The Santiago marathon may have just ended Sunday, but for the world’s largest miners and traders attending the industry’s annual gathering in the city, the five-year slump in copper prices is turning into an endless slog.
A brief three-month rally in copper prices this year has fizzled out, and attendees at Cesco Week World Copper Summit see few signs that China’s demand is improving. As the conference opened Monday, copper fell to its lowest level in a month, and was trading at $4,773 a tonne on Tuesday morning………………………………………..Full Article: Source

3 Ways to Turn Metal Into Cash

Posted on 01 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Precious metals are volatile in the best of times. Nowadays, the price swings for investors is like being attached to a tennis ball at Wimbledon. The swings can be rapid, violent and go in either direction. Then they can swing right back.
Worse, however, is that before and after the financial crisis, there is no clear long-term direction for precious metals. See, the great thing about stocks is that they have a long-term upward bias. Over time, stocks go up. Precious metals don’t. That’s why I don’t believe they have a place in a long-term diversified portfolio………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron ore leads first-quarter commodities rebound

Posted on 01 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iron ore is set to outpace other commodities in the first three months of 2016, finishing a volatile quarter up almost 25 per cent. The rally in iron ore prices, reflecting strengthening Chinese steel prices and increased production ahead of the country’s key construction season, has come amid a rollercoaster ride for commodities in the first quarter.
The rebound will be good news for large producers including BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Brazil’s Vale, whose profitability relies on the iron ore price………………………………………..Full Article: Source

March Tin Price Forecast: Grading Above the Curve

Posted on 01 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Tin prices are on the rise with demand remaining strong, yet a prolonged mining slump and other factors are contributing to tightened supply.
A metal used as solder for electrical circuits, tin is very much in need by an assortment of manufacturers. Yet major exporters, Indonesia and Myanmar, are shipping much less of it in the face of a multiyear slump that investment in mines and smelters sapped………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hot-rolled coil steel prices in the US continue to rise

Posted on 01 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Prices for hot-rolled coil in the US rose again Thursday as more market sources indicated firm offerings at higher prices with upside expected. Platts increased its daily HRC assessment to $455-$465/st from the previous $440-$460/st. The move reflects a $460/st midpoint, where the bulk of offers and transactions have been heard.
The daily cold-rolled coil assessment remained flat at $610-$630/st. Both prices are normalized to a Midwest (Indiana) ex-works basis………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is the worst of the bear storm over for iron ore?: Andy Home

Posted on 31 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The iron ore market has had a good first quarter. True, the spot price has retreated from the frothy heights of early March, when it rocketed by over 20 percent in the space of just two days to $63.60 per ton. That speculative frenzy, fueled by massive trading activity on China’s Dalian Exchange, has abated.
But at a current $54.70 per ton, iron ore is on course to close the first three months of 2016 with price gains of around 27 percent. Compare and contrast with copper, another industrial commodity plagued by the same demons of slowing demand growth and oversupply, which is currently showing year-to-date gains of just six percent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aluminum Continues to Struggle below the $1,500 Price Level

Posted on 31 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Aluminum prices are a key driver of aluminum companies’ price movements. Aluminum producers such as Alcoa (AA), Century Aluminum (CENX), Norsk Hydro (NHYDY), and Rio Tinto (RIO) have varying sensitivities to aluminum prices. In this part of the series, we’ll look at the current trend in aluminum prices.
Aluminum has now closed below the crucial price level of $1,500 per metric ton for three consecutive days. The spread between 3M and cash contracts now stands at ~$11 per metric ton. Note that aluminum moved into backwardation in February 2016………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Precious-metals funds emerge as a powerful leveraged gold play

Posted on 30 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The stunning run so far this year by equity precious-metals mutual funds might be enough to temp some investors and financial advisers to try and jump on the bandwagon. A better strategy, however, would be to take a lesson from the rally in order to be prepared to catch the next one.
As a broad category, equity precious-metals funds have lapped the field since the start of the year, cranking out an average gain of more than 36%, according to Morningstar. The category performance more than doubled the 15% gain by the next best category, commodities precious metals, which includes just one fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Asia alumina prices rangebound amid holiday lull

Posted on 29 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Platts Australian alumina daily assessment continued at $248.50/mt FOB on Monday, unchanged from Thursday last week, as spot activity remained limited amid the holiday lull. There was no assessment on Friday as many markets were closed for Good Friday.
The UK market remained closed Monday and will resume on Tuesday. The China market will be closed next Monday for the Qingming festival. “There are people eying ingot prices for alumina direction, and London is off today [Monday], so we need to wait and see how metal prices move when the market returns tomorrow [Tuesday],” a source from a Henan smelter said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Doctor Copper Hiding in Shanghai Warehouse

Posted on 24 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The price of copper has risen as China keeps buying this industrial metal, sending positive signals about the state of demand in its economy. But there is evidence that the metal is just being stockpiled, raising questions about what those signals actually say.
Instead, a rebound that has added 15% to the price of copper since mid-January could be more about technical factors and a cheaper greenback than resilience in Chinese demand………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Base metals steady, China demand clues awaited

Posted on 23 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper prices steadied as the market waited to see whether signs of stronger demand in top consumer China are confirmed over coming months. Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange ended unchanged at $US5,065 a tonne. Prices of the metal, used in power and construction, are up about 17 per cent since the middle of January due to improving sentiment about Chinese demand.
Funds have been buying copper for some weeks. Their net long position on the LME last Friday rose to 43,834 lots or nearly 1.1 million tonnes of copper from 35,170 lots the previous week………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Despite the Rally in Commodities, Investors Should Avoid Miners

Posted on 23 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It has been a tough year for miners with weak commodity prices and concerns about the outlook for China weighing heavily on mining stocks. Now it appears that there are further dark skies ahead as a falling U.S. dollar and rising oil prices renew cost pressures on miners. This is certainly not good news for beleaguered coal and metals miners such as Teck Resources Ltd. and First Quantum Minerals Ltd.
The primary problem for miners has been the sharp collapse in commodity prices. Key commodities such as iron ore, coal, and copper have fallen between 20% and 50% over the last year. This has caused considerable pain for miners that earn substantial amounts of their revenue from coal and copper such as Teck and First Quantum………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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