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Iron Ore Trading in China Climbs to Record as Price Advances

Posted on 03 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Trading of iron ore derivatives on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange climbed to a record last month as prices increased. Volume jumped 33 percent in May from a month earlier to 24.86 million contracts, or 2.49 billion metric tons, according to bourse data. The previous all-time high was set in April. Compared with a year earlier the volume more than tripled.
Iron ore prices advanced in May as port stockpiles in China contracted. The world’s biggest consumer of metals and energy is seeking to expand its role in setting benchmark raw-material prices. A priority for the Dalian bourse this year is boosting the influence of its prices on global trade, according to Chen Wei, head of industrial commodities………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Metal Funds Rule Commodities in May as Traders Bet on Gains

Posted on 01 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investors are buying into industrial-metal funds at a faster pace than any other commodity, underscoring optimism about the health of the global economy. U.S. exchange-traded products backed by the metals attracted $71.1 million in May, putting flows on track for the biggest monthly increase since 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg as of Wednesday.
The extra funds represent a 22 percent increase in market value, more than other commodity groups such as agriculture and energy. Money managers are betting that China’s efforts to kickstart its slowing economy, including three interest-rate cuts in six months, will succeed in increasing demand for raw materials………………………………….Full Article: Source

Is cobalt the commodity of the future?

Posted on 29 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

If the vision of Elon Musk comes to fruition, cobalt will become an important commodity for the mining industry in the future. The billionaire genius recently unveiled Powerwall, a home battery that give homeowners the ability to get off the commercial power grid entirely by storing surplus electricity generated from solar panels during the day or from the utility grid when rates are low.
Unlike Tesla’s electric cars, Musk has stated Powerwall will use a more powerful battery consisting of nickel, manganese and cobalt. If the home battery takes off like many people expect it to (there are 38,000 reservations for the home battery pack so far), Tesla may require up to 10,000 tons per year of cobalt………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper, aluminium recover from losses on dollar

Posted on 29 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper and aluminium recovered from recent losses on Thursday as the dollar weakened against the euro and optimism grew over a Greek debt deal, but some analysts were cautious over whether gains could be sustained due to plentiful supplies. Most other base metals also rebounded from a recent downturn that had been partly due to a stronger dollar, which makes commodities priced in the U.S. currency more expensive to buyers using other currencies.
The euro has gained against the dollar after Greece expressed confidence this week it will soon seal a cash-for-reforms deal. “We’ve had a bit of a bounce this morning. One of the reasons is because the dollar has stopped appreciating, in the short term at least,” said Stephen Briggs, metals strategist at BNP Paribas in London…………………………………Full Article: Source

Iron Ore Surges on Declining Stockpiles in China

Posted on 29 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The price of iron ore rose to its highest level in nearly three months, as declining stockpiles at China’s major ports sparked concerns about a temporary shortage of the raw material. A benchmark price for iron ore, published by The Steel Index, rose to US$62.60 a metric ton on Wednesday, up 0.8% from Tuesday and its highest level since March 2. The price is up 9% from a week earlier.
Iron-ore stockpiles in China have been dwindling as steelmakers build up their stores of the raw material, resulting in limited availability for some types of ore, analysts say. Inventories at the country’s port facilities last week declined to 84.9 million tons, from 86.6 million tons the week earlier, according to data provider Mysteel. Port stocks were roughly 100 million tons at the start of 2015…………………………………Full Article: Source

Mining Sector Still Sluggish

Posted on 29 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

EY’s Canadian Mining Eye index fell 1% in Q1 2015, compared to a 12% decline in Q4 2014. With a weak global macroeconomic backdrop, most players are working on controlling expenses, as declining grades will put continued pressure on costs.
The Canadian Mining Eye tracks Canadian mining sector performance of 100 TSX and TSXV mid-tier and junior companies with market capitalizations at the end, broadly falling between CDN$2.1 billion and CDN$160 million…………………………………Full Article: Source

Copper hits month low on China, supply rise hits aluminium

Posted on 28 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper hit a one-month low on Wednesday due to concerns about the economic outlook for big metals consumer China, while aluminium fell to its lowest in a year on rising production. Aluminium is in oversupply with a huge stock overhang, and output has continued to rise this year, with the latest industry figures showing daily average production rising to 68,500 tonnes in April.
Norwegian producer Norsk Hydro said it would increase aluminium output by 35,000 tonnes per year. “Although LME stocks are falling there’s (still) a lot of aluminium around and (then) we see large increases in production. Aluminium needs a deficit to erode overhead stocks,” Fastmarkets head of research William Adams said…………………………………….Full Article: Source

World Steel Demand to continue expansion

Posted on 28 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

After five years of strong growth in demand, 2014 saw the world steel sector enter turbulent times. What can we expect in the next five years…? MEPS expects that 2015 will be a year in which global steel supply and demand turn negative. This situation is likely to develop as a result of weakening steel requirements and oversupply in some of the main consuming markets around the world - including, China, United States, Japan, Russia and Brazil.
Despite the anticipated modest decline in global steel demand, this year, MEPS predicts that annual average steel consumption, in most regions of the world, will increase steadily in the future. However, the gains will be much more sober than those recorded in the first half of the current decade…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Iron ore forecast cut 32% by Citigroup as demand to drop

Posted on 28 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global iron ore demand will contract over the 2020s as steel consumption growth in China peaks, according to Citigroup, which reduced its long-run price forecast for the raw material by 32 percent. The long-run estimate was cut to $55 a metric ton from $81 as the world’s major mining companies added more cheap supply, analysts including Ivan Szpakowski wrote in a report on Wednesday. From 2016 to 2018, prices may average $40, it said.
“The next decade is shaping up to be a complete reversal of the past decade,” Citigroup said. After a period of rapid demand growth, the entry of new miners and rising costs, the years ahead will see lower demand, marginal producers forced out and major miners dominating supply growth, it said…………………………………….Full Article: Source

No point in top iron ore miners cutting supply: Goldman

Posted on 28 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world’s largest iron ore producers are moving in the right direction by continuing to increase output even as demand cooled in top consumer China, sending prices tumbling and leaving smaller, high-cost producers struggling to survive. That seems to be the main conclusion of experts from Goldman Sachs Group, which wrote in a report Wednesday that “efforts to support prices via voluntary production cuts would be counter-productive,” as quoted by Bloomberg.
While such cutbacks are appealing in theory, any such proposal is misguided, according to Goldman’s analyst Christian Lelong. Brazil’s Vale, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, the report argues, are unlikely to create a cartel and agree on output cuts to stabilize prices, with waning demand expected to increase competition…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Iron ore rebounds but outlook remains grim

Posted on 28 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A recent rebound in iron ore prices has done nothing to sway the downbeat outlook from forecasters, with Atlas Iron declaring lower price assumptions will see it write $130 million to $160 million off the value of development assets, and Citi slashing its long-term forecast to $US55 a tonne.
The Atlas writedowns come after the company this month survived the dual pressure of low prices and a highly geared balance sheet by striking plans to raise $180m of equity and agreements with contractors to lower operating costs to let it restart its suspended West Australian mines…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Chinese Hedge Funds Turn Bearish on Copper

Posted on 28 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gains of as much as 20 percent since January haven’t convinced Chinese hedge funds that demand for copper is improving in the world’s biggest-consuming country. “The outlook for China’s demand will be worse, not better,” said Shen Haihua, a senior portfolio manager at Hong Kong-based HFZ Capital Management, a joint venture of U.K. hedge fund Red Kite Management Ltd. and Maike Metals International, a Chinese metals trader. HFZ Capital says demand will weaken in the second half of the year.
Because China uses half of the world’s copper to build new power lines, cars and appliances, investors piled into the metal this year as the government took steps to revive the economy. Some of that cash is flowing into Chinese hedge funds that have expanded after regulatory changes in 2013, helping to fuel domestic trading of commodity derivatives that now outpaces the growth of legacy markets like the London Metal Exchange…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Aluminum market eyes SHFE, LME arbitrage as support for premiums

Posted on 27 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Some traders in Asia are closely monitoring the spread between Shanghai Futures Exchange and London Metal Exchange aluminum contract prices, as a wider spread may see more of the metal head to China. Front-month SHFE June aluminum traded at Yuan 13,150-Yuan 13,160 ($2,152-$2,153)/mt Tuesday, while the most recent LME settlement on May 22 was $1,726/mt.
Platts assessed spot Chinese import premium for Western grade aluminum at $150-$200/mt Monday. On the basis of LME at $1,726/mt, the $175/mt import premium, port handling charges of Yuan 100/mt and China’s value added tax of 17%, the Chinese import price is equivalent to Yuan 13,689/mt — higher than the traded level for SHFE June aluminum contract, Platts calculation shows…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is US Steel Consumption Headed for a Slowdown?

Posted on 27 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As per the World Steel Association (or WSA), US (SPY) steel consumption grew at 11.7% last year. US steel demand grew at the fastest pace among the major steel-consuming countries. However, for this year, the WSA expects US steel consumption to decline 0.4% over the previous year. Demand slowdown from the energy sector, which accounts for almost 10% of US steel consumption, is the prime reason behind the slowdown in steel demand.
The construction sector accounts for over 40% of US steel consumption. Non-residential construction spending makes up two thirds of the total construction spending. Non-residential construction spending has been on an uptrend, rising 4.5% in the first three months of the current year…………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s bid to lock in cheap iron ore

Posted on 27 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With iron ore prices still at multi-year lows, a reported interest by China’s biggest steelmaker for indebted Australian iron ore miner Fortescue Metals makes business sense for both parties, depending on how much the deal is worth, analysts say. “It’s logical that Baosteel would try to secure future supply,” Patersons Securities’ director of research Robert Brierley told CNBC. But “I doubt Andrew (Forrest, Fortescue Group’s chairman) would sell at these prices,” he said.
Iron ore prices may be staggering back from 10-year year lows, but the biggest customers appear to be seeking to lock in the cheap prices by going straight to the source – and buying the miners…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman Sticks to Commodity Bear Call as Copper Vulnerable

Posted on 26 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodities will reverse a rally that started in March as a stronger U.S. dollar, cheaper oil and cooling China again pressure raw materials, especially copper, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Copper will lose at least 16 percent over the coming 12 months on China’s weakening demand growth and slowdown in construction completions, analysts including Jeffrey Currie said in a report e-mailed Monday.
Oil in New York will fall to $45 a barrel by October while the dollar continues its rise, pushing commodities prices lower as production costs slide. “We see downside pressures on commodity prices re-emerging,” the analysts wrote in the report. “The recent rise in commodity prices is clearly at odds with our lower-for-longer bearish view across the complex.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Silver is a Special Metal

Posted on 26 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It always has been. And on a value basis, it’s also a good buy. Silver has been chugging more than gold but once it pops up, it could take off like a bandit. There are many reasons why silver will go higher and it’s just a matter of time. And as our dear friend Richard Russell points out, JP Morgan is aggressively accumulating physical silver by the hundreds of millions of ounces.
This is the largest accumulation of physical silver by a private entity in history! Plus, it’s three times the 100 million ounces acquired by the Hunt Brothers in 1980 or by Warren Buffet in 1998………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Platinum price – the cheese and biscuits analogies

Posted on 26 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Platinum has been in a large deficit for the last two to three years – and a substantial one at that, last year in particular with the five-month long platinum miners’ strike in South Africa taking perhaps a further 1 million ounces away from the production picture. But, over this same period, the price has not risen, but has fallen, thus seemingly being counter to the normal supply/demand process.
An interesting panel discussion at last week’s Bloomberg Precious Metals Forum in London did not see an immediate end to this price malaise, although looking further ahead did feel there would be a stage when fundamentals would start to impact price positively………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Eastern China steelmakers cut ferrous scrap buying prices on lower rebar prices

Posted on 26 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Steel mills in eastern China cut ferrous scrap buying prices over the weekend, in line with declines in rebar prices. Jiangsu Shagang Group, the largest scrap user in China, on Sunday cut its buying price by Yuan 20/mt ($3/mt) in tandem with falling rebar prices, a company source said.
This was the mill’s first reduction in this month, which kept its buying prices unchanged since the last cut April 26. After the adjustment, Shagang will pay Yuan 1,450/mt ($234/mt) including 17% VAT, delivered to Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu province, for heavy melting scrap at least 6 mm thick………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold or Miners: Which Investment Shines Brighter?

Posted on 25 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold mining stocks have been in the headlines lately as their share prices have moved significantly higher. Between early March and mid-May the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) increased over 17%. The Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ), which tracks smaller-capitalization miners, ticked up over 25% in the same period. Both funds’ result dwarfed the underlying metal’s return of roughly 6.4% during that time.
Historically, advisors and fund investors have used gold miners as one of the few ways to get exposure to the precious metal, says John Gabriel, ETF strategist with Chicago-based Morningstar. That’s changed over the past 10 years or so with the arrival of physical-gold ETFs, which provide direct exposure to the commodity’s price movement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Banks getting nervous about exposure to mining loans

Posted on 25 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Banks are increasingly combing through portfolios heavily ­exposed to mining regions as the fallout from the collapse in commodity prices raises concerns that pain is spreading across loan books. While mining companies make up a small portion of the major banks’ total lending, industry sources said loans to other business customers in cities such as Perth were showing greater stress as the flow-on effect of lower commodity prices took its toll.
Last week, listed Perth contractor Macmahon advised that a 90-day review with nine lenders that had provided a $317.5 million ­facility — of which $159m has been drawn — had been ­extended by one month………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aluminum financing to continue in non-registered LME warehouses: Macquarie

Posted on 22 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The financing of aluminum will continue in non-registered London Metal Exchange warehouses, Colin Hamilton, head of global commodity research at Australian investment bank Macquarie said Thursday. “Essentially given where the contango is, it makes more sense, if you’re sitting with material in those off market warehouses, especially with the contango we’ve seen in recent weeks, we’ll certainly see financing coming back,” Hamilton said at presentation at the bank’s offices in London to launch its commodities outlook.
Basis the LME official prices, the cash-threes spread was in a $40/mt contango (when the spot price is lower than the forward price) May 21, having been in a deep and prolonged backwardation (when the forward price is lower than the spot price) for most of the first quarter………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Turkish ferrous scrap import prices slide on lower indications

Posted on 22 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Platts’ daily assessment of Turkish ferrous premium heavy melting scrap I/II (80:20) imports slipped $2/mt to $286.50/mt CFR Thursday on lower indications and a cheaper deal. A US East Coast-origin cargo was heard sold Wednesday comprising 25,000 mt of HMS I/II (80:20) at $285/mt CFR and 15,000 mt of shred at $290/mt CFR.
The seller had the option to load some of the material in Puerto Rico, which sell-side sources said lowered the value of the cargo somewhat. Platts partially factored the cargo into its assessment, and normalized it to $287-$288/mt CFR, taking into account the Puerto Rican-origin scrap — the methodology specifies 80:20 of premium USEC origin or equivalent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron ore price sheds 2.4 per cent as Vale shakes up supply

Posted on 21 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iron ore delivered to the Port of Qingdao has shed another 2.4 per cent as the world surveys the repercussions of Vale’s $US4 billion deal with China to pump up supply. The price of the commodity sipped $US1.41 to $US57.12 on Wednesday as it continued to give up recent gains.
The week has brought a flurry of bad news for those hoping for a sustained iron ore price recovery. On Monday, China steel prices slid to their lowest in 12 years, while on Wednesday, China and Vale unveiled a deal that will boost supply of iron ore into an already saturated market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Société Genéralé: Nickel Is the Best Commodity During El Niño

Posted on 20 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodity markets are bracing themselves for the El Niño phenomenon, a cyclical meteorological occurrence associated with above average water temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific region, like Southeast Asia and Australia.
El Niño last emerged from 2009 to 2010, causing droughts and damaging crops in Australia and Southeast Asia, thereby wreaking havoc on agricultural commodity prices. “Potential shocks to commodities markets tend to shape the risk profiles of market participants,” Mark Keenan head of commodity research for Asia at Société Genéralé, said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron ore price inquiry ‘good and normal’ says Andrew Forrest

Posted on 20 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As most Australians know, the price of iron ore has fallen massively, losing more than 60 per cent in the past year and a half and blasting a hole in the nation’s finances. That’s because demand from China has fallen. But the market is still heavy with supply.
Andrew Forrest, the chairman of Fortescue Metals Group, is accusing the big miners, BHP and Rio Tinto, of taking advantage of the situation and flooding the market further to drive the price down so smaller competitors like him collapse. He’s calling for a parliamentary inquiry into the iron ore price, something the Government last week appeared to favour but from which it’s since stepped back………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron ore price below $US60 a tonne as declines accelerate

Posted on 20 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iron ore has recorded its sharpest fall in weeks, as Canberra continues to mull whether or not to hold an inquiry into the activities of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. The price of iron ore delivered to the Port of Qingdao fell $US2.32, or 3.5 per cent, to $US58.53 per tonne on Monday.
The fall came as China steel prices slid to their lowest in 12 years as the iron ore hungry nation’s peak construction season began to ebb. Since May 11, when iron ore hit $US62.88 per tonne, the commodity has been gradually giving up gains made after BHP in April said it would slow production growth………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Chinese metals hedge funds aim to lure Western investors

Posted on 20 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Chinese hedge funds, blamed for several routs in the metal markets in the past 18 months, are developing relations with Western investors as they stretch out beyond their home turf, an executive at London Metal Exchange broker Sucden said.
Chinese metals funds, including Shanghai Chaos Investment Co, were believed to be behind an 8 percent plunge in the copper price over three days in March 2014 and were active as the metal crashed to a six-year low this year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

When will platinum react to its fundamentals?

Posted on 19 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Platinum, trading just shy of six-year lows and out of favour with investors, continues to defy logic given a fundamental supply deficit. Many delegates at this week’s London Platinum and Palladium Week here will therefore hope there are better times on the horizon.
One hot topic is likely to be when the shortfall might finally be reflected in the price or if above-ground stocks will continue to cap any gains. And for producers, labour disputes and inadequate energy supplies in a market already dealing with rising costs and falling demand will again be at the forefront. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

LME nickel inventories at ‘turning point’: Norilsk Nickel

Posted on 19 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Russian metal producer Norilsk Nickel said Monday it expects high LME nickel inventories to be at a ‘turning point’ with a likely decrease in the near term. “We believe the stocks are going to come down and that this is going to drive the prices,” Norilsk Nickel First Deputy CEO Sergey Dyachenko said in an interview with Platts Monday.
LME nickel stocks have grown significantly over the last year, hitting record high levels above 435,000 mt. According to exchange data out Monday, global LME warehouse nickel inventories currently stand at 443,622 mt. Norilsk Nickel said that around 40% of the increase was a result of the relocation of metal from Chinese bonded warehouses………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aluminum Leaves Commodities Party Early

Posted on 18 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Aluminum is leaving the commodities party early. Unloved through much of the commodities boom in the first decade of the 2000s, mainly because of the high supply coming from China, aluminum had been performing strongly this year, along with other metals such as copper, zinc and lead.
But since hitting a five-month high on May 5 of $1,978 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, prices for the benchmark three-month aluminum futures have slid 6.3% through Friday, while other commodities have extended their gains. LME three-month aluminum futures ended Friday at $1,853 a ton………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron ore pricing inquiry to go ahead, but won’t ‘interfere with free market’, says Abbott

Posted on 18 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Dramatic drop in iron ore price leads to accusations that BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are flooding the market and trying to push out smaller producers. Tony Abbott has signalled his intention to press ahead with a parliamentary inquiry into the price of iron ore but has stressed that his government isn’t one “that interferes with free markets”.
Mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto have been accused of flooding the market with iron ore, thus lowering its price, in order to hurt smaller rivals. Iron ore is Australia’s largest commodity export but its price per tonne has dropped dramatically from $120 just two years ago. The government’s latest budget bases its forecasts of iron ore at $48 a tonne………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zinc’s Rally Is Not Just Speculation

Posted on 15 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The prices of some commodities, such as oil and iron-ore, may remain depressed in the near term, but zinc appears poised for growth. The price of the base metal, which is used mainly to galvanize steel and mixed with copper to make brass, has climbed by 20% since mid-March to last week’s peak of $2,400 per tonne.
Overall, zinc has climbed 7% this year at the London Metals Exchange, and could continue going higher. The recent increase in prices is due in part to the growth in speculative interest. As per LME’s most recent Commitments of Traders Report dated May 8, traders held 98,417 lots of net long positions in zinc - that’s equivalent to more than one-fifth of the total number of futures contract. No other base metal at the LME has higher long positions…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nickel falls as inventories rise, Shanghai futures slide

Posted on 15 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nickel fell on Thursday on concern about excess supply after a rise in inventories increased, with further pressure coming from a slide in Shanghai futures. Most other metals also declined, but losses were limited by a weaker dollar and the possibility that China could step up stimulus measures to boost economic growth.
Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange closed down 1.9 percent at $13,780 a tonne. LME nickel inventories MNISTX-TOTAL rose 2,310 tonnes to 443,352, close to a record high set at the end of last month, while lead stocks also increased MPBSTX-TOTAL, weighing on that metal’s price…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aluminium: The story of a base metals contango on the LME

Posted on 14 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Aluminium premiums have been dropping sharply this year but what enabled the financing deals that locked up metal in the first place? Over the next few days, Metal Bulletin will be running a series of articles on the history of the LME aluminium contract and particularly the spread between nearby prices and those further out.
Aluminium premiums have sunk this year. Since the start of 2015, the cost of obtaining nearby delivery has seen its sharpest fall since the financial crisis, and many are now forecasting further falls throughout the rest of the year as Chinese exports and former warehouse stocks saturate the market…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Precious metals looking up

Posted on 13 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Imports of gold, silver, and platinum jewelry to the United States continued to grow in the first quarter of the year, rising 14.9%, 6.9% and 6.7%, respectively, on a volume basis from year ago levels. In value terms, precious metals jewelry imports were up 6.6% in the three-month period from year ago levels.
This increase is in contrast to the 5% decline in jewelry store sales in the country in the first two months of the year, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Lower precious metals prices and a stronger U.S. dollar continued to encourage stock building among wholesalers of foreign-made jewelry. While domestic retail sales appear to have disappointed to the downside in the first few months of the year, likely due to adverse weather, positive expectations for better demand seems to remain intact………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investors return to zinc but are they chasing shadows?

Posted on 13 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investors are stampeding back into the London zinc market. Their return has triggered a super-charged rally in prices. On the London Metal Exchange (LME), three-month metal has soared from under $2,000 per tonne in mid-March to last week’s highs above $2,400 per tonne.
Spreads have tightened as shorts scramble to cover positions in the face of a dominant long position controlling somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of non-cancelled LME stocks. LME stocks, meanwhile, continue to fall at a steady pace. They are now down by around 35 percent, or 239,000 tonnes, since the start of the year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Japanese used aluminum can prices track weak ingot import premiums lower

Posted on 13 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A fall in Japanese aluminum ingot import premiums has dampened domestic used beverage can prices, while other aluminum scrap prices have remained stable over the past month, local scrap brokers said Tuesday, May 12. The sales price of used beverage cans to secondary aluminum alloy smelters was around Yen 160-Yen 170 ($1.33-$1.41)/kg on a delivered basis this week, said scrap dealers in Nagoya and Tokyo.
In Nagoya, deals were done at around Yen 160/kg delivered, down Yen 5/kg from April and down Yen 20/kg from earlier in the year, a local dealer said. “The final users of used beverage cans are aluminum rolling mills making cansheets, and the rolling mills usually cite the import premiums [when negotiating feedstock prices],” the dealer said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper declines after China’s stimulus support

Posted on 12 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper slid a second day, shrugging off China’s bid to boost growth with a third interest rate cut in six months in the world’s largest consumer of the metal. Copper entered a bull market last week and rose to the highest since December amid speculation China’s policy makers would add stimulus and on signs that supply is tightening.
While prices slipped 0.6 percent in the last two days, the metal has rallied 18 percent from a five-year low in January. “With the slowing data, the market is just going to stand back,” said David Lennox, a resource analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney. “The import numbers were quite weak. Any rate cut now won’t start to impact demand until beyond next month.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Zinc to lead improvement in base metals prices

Posted on 12 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

After indications of consolidations during the previous month, base metals prices improved during the previous month. Lead prices outperformed others with a gain of 17.5% to US$2125/ tn followed by zinc, which rose by 13.5% to US$2356/ tn.
Aluminium rose 6.7% to US$1910/ tn and copper prices gained by 3.2% to US$6245/ tn Sharp rise in lead prices and zinc prices along with fall in USD index can also be attributed to the sharp fall the inventory levels. Lead inventory fell by 25%, while zinc inventory fell by 8% and aluminium inventory fell 3%. Copper inventory rose by 2% MoM……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Hedge funds lift bullish copper bets to August high

Posted on 12 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds and other speculators raised their net long position in copper to the highest level since August, the latest data show, as China cut interest rates for the third time in six months. Net long positions rose by 17,731 lots to 31,654 lots, the latest data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission show, writes Henry Sanderson, commodities reporter.
Copper for July delivery, the most actively traded contract, slipped 0.48 per cent Monday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, despite the news of further monetary easing from China. It has risen 3.8 per cent this month………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper prices soft but oulook positive

Posted on 11 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper was softer on Friday, but signs of robust demand from top consumer China helped support prices, while the tin market focused on expectations of tighter supplies due to Indonesian export cuts. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was untraded at the close, but bid at $US6,385 a tonne from Thursday’s close at $US6,400.
China’s copper imports fell 4.4 per cent year-on-year in April. But arrivals of anode, refined copper, copper alloys and semi-finished copper products stood at 430,000 tonnes in April, the highest monthly imports since April 2014 and up 4.9 per cent from 410,000 tonnes in March………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Rally in base metal prices might not be sustainable

Posted on 11 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Base metal prices have rallied very strongly lately but are the gains sustainable? Metal Bulletin Research (MBR) has its doubts. The move started with lead and zinc, and these two are up 28 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively, from mid-March lows. But the rest have joined since late April, with copper and aluminium reaching fresh 2015 highs in recent days.
On the whole, currency markets, more so than the metal markets’ own fundamentals, have been the main driving force. Better economic data out of Europe, combined with softer data from the US, has seen the dollar retreat to its weakest level in two months against the euro and other major currencies. Easing concerns about euro zone deflation and a more dovish Federal Reserve have been factors, too………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nickel bulls’ focus on LME stocks a risky strategy

Posted on 11 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

For the nickel market, it’s a case of once bitten, twice shy. Analysts are finding ever more evidence that the Indonesian ban on nickel ore exports introduced at the start of 2014 is finally starting to impact China’s massive nickel pig iron (NPI) sector.
Chinese stocks of nickel ore are falling. So too, everyone agrees, is actual NPI production, although the scale and pace of decline is difficult to pinpoint in what is a notoriously opaque part of the nickel supply chain. China’s imports of nickel are trending higher, particularly those of ferronickel, the most obvious substitute for NPI. Yet the market remains decidedly unenthused by these developments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Tin may make a smart comeback

Posted on 11 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Metal prices are in a meltdown globally and tin is no exception. Tin has been the worst performer among metals, falling 20 per cent so far this year. The metal now trades near a seven-year low of about $16,000 a tonne — lower than its production cost.
After touching a low of under $16,000 due to increased export from Myanmar to China, prices stabilised, thanks to the drastic output cuts announced recently by Indonesia, a major tin producer. What’s more, after a bleak performance in the last few years, analysts expect a turnaround aided by reduction in supply, and robust demand from the electronics industry in the coming years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China magnesium: Spot export trades remain lackluster, offers steady

Posted on 08 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Spot export trades for Chinese magnesium ingot on a FOB basis remained lackluster on the dearth of overseas buying interest, while offers continued to hold steady, industry sources said Thursday. Platts kept its weekly magnesium ingot (minimum 99.8%) price assessment steady at $2,180-$2,230/mt FOB China Thursday, unchanged from the previous weeks as bids and offers were heard within the range.
The Chinese magnesium die-cast alloy price assessment was also maintained at $2,460-2,530/mt FOB China, unchanged from last week. “I am not hearing any movement in both the domestic and export offers after the implementation of the minimum domestic offer of Yuan 13,000/mt ($2,095/mt) in Shaanxi,” said a North China-based analyst, who heard steady offers at Yuan 13,000-Yuan 13,300/mt ex-works and $2,200-$2,250/mt FOB China………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron Ore Trade Boom Shows China Bid for Commodities Clout

Posted on 08 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s bid for greater influence over commodity prices is intensifying as record trade in its iron ore futures dwarfs its nearest rivals. Derivatives volumes on the Dalian Commodity Exchange more than doubled to 18.6 million contracts last month, or 1.86 billion metric tons, bourse data show.
Trading in contracts on the Singapore Exchange Ltd. totaled 78.2 million tons. UBS Group AG forecasts global demand at 2.04 billion tons in 2015. The world’s biggest consumer of metals, energy and grains is seeking to tighten its grip over prices with its own contracts for raw materials from tin to coal………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper slips from near 2015 peaks

Posted on 07 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper and most other industrial metals retreated on Wednesday from recent peaks as copper demand in China falters. Some investors also regard the base metals sector’s recent strong gains as outpacing supply and demand fundamentals.
The index of six base metals traded on the London Metal Exchange had rallied 13 per cent from lows in mid-March until Tuesday, when zinc hit its highest price in eight months and copper its strongest since mid-December. “I do think in general they’ve moved a bit too far too soon. The sector is overdue a correction,” said Stephen Briggs, metals strategist at BNP Paribas in London………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron Ore Trade Boom Shows China Bid for Commodities Clout

Posted on 07 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s bid for greater influence over commodity prices is intensifying as record trade in its iron ore futures dwarfs its nearest rivals. Derivatives volumes on the Dalian Commodity Exchange more than doubled to 18.6 million contracts last month, or 1.86 billion metric tons, bourse data show. Trading in contracts on the Singapore Exchange Ltd. totaled 78.2 million tons. UBS Group AG forecasts global demand at 2.04 billion tons in 2015.
The world’s biggest consumer of metals, energy and grains is seeking to tighten its grip over prices with its own contracts for raw materials from tin to coal. While bourses from London to New York maintain a hold on global commodity benchmarks, iron ore traders look to the Dalian market for direction, according to Clarkson Plc, a broker………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Silver Market Update: Could A Reversal Be On The Way?

Posted on 06 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Silver’s long bear market, from its 2011 highs, is believed to be “nested” within a larger bull market, along with gold’s, as discussed in more detail in my parallel Gold Market update, to which the reader is referred. This is an echo of what happened in the 70s, when both gold and silver went into a heavy correction in 1975 and 1976 that was taken at the time to be a new bear market, but ended up leading into a massive parabolic ramp that took silver to dizzying heights as the Hunt brothers attempted to corner the silver market.
The second major upleg of this bull market should take silver to levels that dwarf those of the 70s peak, and this is not some deluded fantasy but based on a sound assessment of the trends in currencies and debt now extant………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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