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Fund Managers Cut Most Precious Metals Positions In Latest CFTC Data

Posted on 26 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Large speculators cut their net-long gold futures and options holdings on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange in the latest Commodity Futures Trading Commission data for the week ended Aug. 19, reversing some of the gains established in the last report.
The retreat came as geopolitical fears subsided and pushed the yellow metal under $1,300 an ounce during that timeframe. Platinum group metals activity was mixed, with large speculators adding to bullish palladium holdings and dropping platinum. These traders continued to trim net-long silver positions and cut their exposure in copper, too………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge Fund Citrine Sees Zinc, Nickel as Best Base Metal Bets

Posted on 26 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Zinc and nickel will probably lead advances in base metals next year as global demand outstrips production, according to Paul Crone, chief investment officer at Citrine Capital Management LLC.
Zinc may rally to $2,500 to $2,700 a metric ton, as much as 15 percent higher than last week, said Crone, who manages more than $200 million at the New York-based hedge fund and has traded metals for a quarter of a century. Nickel may rise 23 percent to $23,000 as Indonesia’s ban on raw ore exports cuts supply, Crone said in a phone interview on Aug. 21………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aluminum Inventory: The Elephant in the Commodity Metals Room

Posted on 26 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

OK, so what’s happening on the LME’s largest contract, primary aluminum? The cash to three months spread is down to just $17/ton and 118,850 tons of metal sitting in the exit queue at Vlissingen, Netherlands, has just been put back on the market according to a Thomson Reuters report by Andy Home.
According to Home’s report, the front part of the LME curve has been tightening for several weeks now, to the point that the shortest-dated spreads are currently in backwardation. The LME is periodically distorted by major players taking massive positions on certain key dates and manipulating prices as a result………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Peru to become world’s second-largest copper producer

Posted on 26 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Peru is set to become the world’s second-largest copper miner, behind neighbouring Chile, thanks to a $20bn pipeline of Chinese mining projects, according to senior officials in Lima. Last month’s $7bn acquisition of Glencore’s Las Bambas copper project in Peru by China Minmetals’ MMG subsidiary has reinforced the links between the two countries, as Beijing seeks to secure more resources to drive economic growth.
MMG’s Las Bambas deal means Chinese backers are now behind one-third of all Peru’s new mining investments by value, estimated by the country at $61bn………………………………………..Full Article: Source

As Commodity Prices Slide, Big Miners Seek a Sustainable Strategy

Posted on 26 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Navigant Research’s report, Renewable Energy in the Mining Industry, summed up the state of the global mining business: “In the last decade, increased demand from countries such as China and other emerging economies pushed the price of many metals and minerals upward, which stimulated investment in the mining industry.
More recently, the global economic downturn and the collapse in a number of metal and mined commodity prices forced the mining industry to scale back investment into new mine sites, reduce operating mine lives, and scale back their investment into more capital expenditure-heavy renewable energy.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Rhodium Rally Pushes Price Past Platinum, Gold: Chart of the Day

Posted on 25 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The price of rhodium, a metal used in car pollution-control devices, surpassed that of more-widely used platinum for the first time in 31 months as a mine strike in South Africa reduced supply amid rising demand.
The CHART OF THE DAY shows rhodium surging to $1,475 an ounce on Aug. 14, surpassing platinum for the first time since 2011 after overtaking gold, according to price data compiled by Bloomberg. Rhodium was at $1,400 as of Aug. 22, up 57 percent from its nine-year low in December………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Can Gold and Silver still meet the previous price forecasts?

Posted on 25 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In your previous Gold Report interview of Dec. 31, 2013, you predicted 2014 prices of $1,400 per ounce ($1,400/oz) for gold and $25/oz for silver. Do you think that gold and silver can still meet those prices this year?
Those figures referred to the high side of the anticipated trading range for both metals. Today, our prediction for the high side in 2014 is $1,350/oz for gold and $22/oz for silver. In other words, we see silver potentially trading up to $22/oz this year but do not imply in any way that we expect silver to average $22/oz this year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Precious Metals Bear Markets: How Much Longer?

Posted on 25 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Traders buy and sell assets everyday. For example, despite ridiculously high P/E ratios and a huge gain over the last 5 years, there are traders who continue to purchase Biotech stocks every single day. On the other hand value investors are different. Their main goal is to buy an asset on cheap, or as the old adage states “buy low, and sell high”.
The problem value investors face is figuring out what cheap is, and when low is low enough to be the bottom (or at least close to it so the drawdown is limited). If you are a value investor today, surely you would be looking to allocate at least a small portion of your portfolio towards the precious metals sector………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper prices make a comeback

Posted on 25 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper is mounting a comeback as investors grow more confident about the global economy. Prices rose 3.3% last week, after a major commodities trading house surprised markets with an upbeat forecast for copper demand in the second half of this year, while data from the U.S. show an economic rebound is gaining traction.
Some investors also believe China, the world’s largest consumer of the metal, may be preparing to launch a second round of economic stimulus, which could further boost copper demand. Copper’s rally has nearly reversed a sharp drop recorded earlier this month, although prices are still down about 7% for the year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper and zinc shrug off weak China data

Posted on 22 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper and zinc shrugged off weak Chinese manufacturing and trade data on Thursday, building on strong gains made in the previous 24 hours. Factory activity in China, which consumes more than 40 per cent of the world’s industrial metals, hit a three-month low in August, according to HSBC’s latest PMI figures.
Separate customs data showed that China’s refined copper imports dropped in July to 244,959 tonnes, the lowest since May 2013 and a 16 per cent fall year on year. The decline in imports was partly a result of the probe into suspected metals financing fraud at Qingdao port………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper rises, aluminium hits 1-1/2 years high

Posted on 22 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper rose to a one-week high on Wednesday as robust US housing data overnight boosted sentiment and buyers in top metals consumer China took advantage of low prices to build stocks. Housing starts in the United States surged to an eight-month high in July, suggesting a house market recovery was back on track after stalling in the second half of last year.
Copper is used mostly in the construction industry for cables, electric wiring, plumbing and in heating and ventilation systems. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange hit a one-week high of $7,019 a tonne, before paring gains to close at $7,010 a tonne, up 2.1 percent. The price had fallen to $6,821 last week, its weakest since June 23………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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

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