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Citi: Base Metals Rally ‘Too Far Too Fast’

Posted on 17 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A rally in base metals may be “overdone,” says Citi Research. The London Metal Exchange Index is up 7.2% since June 12. “However, we do not believe that current supply-(and)-demand fundamentals justify this rally and expect prices to correct lower,” Citi says.
The bank says the rally has been driven by paper-market positioning on the back of improving macroeconomic sentiment, money inflows including those from commodity trading advisers, and anticipation of more positive supply/demand conditions next year, such as zinc mine closures. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

China copper trading hit by commodity financing crackdown

Posted on 16 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A Chinese commodity trading house is accused of securing multiple bank loans against a single stockpile of copper and aluminium, causing ructions in copper prices and a dip in trading volumes.
The discovery of a financing practice by a Chinese trading firm using the same metals inventory as collateral to secure multiple bank loans has caused copper prices to plummet, yet futures traders have profited from the price dislocations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Palladium Is The Best Performer Among Precious Metals In 2014

Posted on 15 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The first half of the year 2014 is history. Time for a quick evaluation of the metals’ performance. Obviously, Sharelynx offers the best in class charts to answer our question. Palladium is by far the best performer among the precious metals. Since the start of this year it’s price has increased with 18% (approximately) while the second performer (silver) added 10% to its price.
The other three metals have a very similar percentage rise over 6 months. Silver has been the laggard till early June when it accelerated its rise in a very short time span. This is the “restless” characteristic of silver………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Miners hit by precious metals pullback

Posted on 15 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A sudden pullback in gold and silver prices after a month’s rally sent precious metal miners lower on Monday. Gains in the two commodities have been fuelled by improving economic activity, particularly in China, as well as the resurgence over the past week of euro area fears and discord over when the Federal Reserve will first raise interest rates.
Spot gold, which has climbed more than 7 per cent since the start of June, tumbled 2.5 per cent to $1,305.51 an ounce while silver prices slid 3 per cent. Analysts with Credit Suisse said bullion movements over the remainder of the year would be tied to Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen’s view of the economy and how the central bank normalises monetary policy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is copper set for a fresh bout of pain?

Posted on 15 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper recently reversed sharp price falls seen earlier this year, but fresh headwinds could push the metal lower in the second half, Capital Economics said in a note.
“We expect renewed weakness in the copper price later this year as mine supply picks up and Chinese copper imports continue to fall due to waning demand from financing deals,” said Caroline Bain, senior commodities economist at Capital Economics………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Worst could be over for copper

Posted on 14 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper prices have retracted from lows of last month. Improving US housing market and a stronger Chinese consumption with the country’s Purchasing Managers’ Index rising to a seven month high of 50.8 in June, have all boosted sentiments. Following trends in the international market, the copper futures contract traded on MCX has also risen. It has rallied about 10 per from its low of ₹394.55 per kg recorded on June 9.
The construction sector consumes about 30 per cent of the copper produced globally. The US housing sector, one of the major consumers of copper in the world influences copper prices……………………………………….Full Article: Source

India: Steel & Mining: Jaitley adds shine to metals

Posted on 11 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Indian Finance Minsiter Arun Jaitley’s proposal to impose 2.5 per cent basic customs duty on metallurgical coke, in line with the duty on coking coal, will result in a rise in cost of steel production by Rs 450-500 a tonne. Most large steel companies will prefer to pass on the increased burden, as coal forms a large chunk of their manufacturing cost. The impact of reduction in the duty on steel-grade limestone and dolomite from five per cent to 2.5 per cent will be marginal.
“The finance minister has tried to please stainless steel makers only, with his move to increase the basic customs duty on their imported flat-rolled products from five per cent to 7.5 per cent. It will, however, have no benefit for carbon steel makers. Our costs will go up by $6-7 a tonne. We have to see if we can raise the prices for end-consumers,” said R K Goyal, managing director, Kalyani Steels………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper fluctuates after China trade data

Posted on 11 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper futures swung between small gains and losses on Thursday, after data showed that China’s exports rose less than expected in June. On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper for September delivery tacked on 0.1%, or 0.4 cents, to trade at $3.252 a pound during European morning hours. Prices held in a narrow range between $3.245 and $3.257 a pound.
Copper prices ended Wednesday’s session down 0.28%, or 0.9 cents, to settle at $3.248 a pound. Futures were likely to find support at $3.237 a pound, the low from July 7 and resistance at $3.294 a pound, the high from July 8………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman Sachs calls copper prices lower

Posted on 10 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The commodity space saw none of the selling which prevailed in equities on Tuesday. Three-month copper futures on the LME were little changed, changing hands at $7,130/metric tonne by the closing bell.
Of interest, however, Goldman Sachs forecast that copper prices will grind lower over the coming six to twelve months as demand softens in China, particularly in the country’s housing sector, from which half of the demand for the industrial metal originates………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aluminum touches one-year high

Posted on 10 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Aluminum reached a one-year high in London after Alcoa Inc. said a shortage of the metal will be larger than previously forecast. Zinc traded near a 35-month high as inventories continued to shrink.
The aluminum market’s supply-demand deficit will come to 930,000 metric tons this year, more than April’s 730,000-ton estimate, Alcoa, the biggest U.S. producer, said yesterday. Inventories monitored by the London Metal Exchange are at the lowest since September 2012 and zinc stocks dropped today for a 12th session in 13, bourse data showed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Now China’s metal funds turn their attention to zinc market

Posted on 10 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds in China have turned their attention to the zinc market, where open interest on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, for example, has risen steeply over the past month, sources said.
On June 11, zinc open interest on SHFE rose by 38% from the previous day and on July 8, another 68,308 lots were added, taking total open interest to 412,360 lots in total. The same day, the LME three-month zinc price recorded a fresh three-year high of $2,318.50 per tonne. The raised interest in the SHFE’s zinc contract stems largely from the interest of China’s commodity funds, which are emerging as important participants in the metal markets, well-informed sources said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Base metals return to investors’ radar

Posted on 10 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

At the end of the first quarter only one industrial metal had recorded a positive performance – nickel. By the end of the second quarter nickel was joined by aluminium and zinc. And more could follow – copper and lead, for example, have both recently touched five-month highs.
So what gives? The view from the trading floor is that base metals are benefiting from a reallocation of funds into commodities. Macro funds have taken a positive view on commodities, according to traders, while specialist funds have increased positions after a solid second quarter – LMEX, a daily index that tracks the six main metals traded on the London Metal Exchange, gained more than 8 per cent in the three months to the end of June………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Palladium Caps Longest Rally in 14 Years as Demand Gains

Posted on 09 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Palladium capped the longest rally since 2000 on signs that demand will climb for the metal used in pollution-control devices in cars amid lower supplies from South Africa, the world’s second-largest producer.
Palladium has gained 22 percent this year as output slowed during a five-month strike by 70,000 employees in South Africa that ended last month. Auto sales in the U.S. headed for the biggest year since 2007, while retail deliveries of cars, multipurpose and sport utility vehicles climbed 14 percent in China last month, the Passenger Car Association said……………………………………Full Article: Source

Why steel is an essential commodity—the backbone of an economy

Posted on 09 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Steel is vital for any economy. In a lot of ways, steel consumption in an economy reflects the economy’s health. It shouldn’t surprise you that steel consumption fell by as much as 50% in some countries during the recession of 2008.
We use steel in our daily lives—whether in the car we drive, the bridges we drive on, or the homes we live in. You can describe steel’s importance in a simple quote from the World Steel Association, “steel everywhere in our lives.” The sector also supports around a million jobs in the U.S., directly or indirectly……………………………………Full Article: Source

Metals May Benefit by China’s Easing: Morgan Stanley

Posted on 09 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Industrial metals will probably be the greatest beneficiaries of China’s intensifying policy-easing measures in the third quarter, according to Morgan Stanley.
Economic growth in China is set to improve, helped by easing and stronger export markets, metals analysts including Joel Crane wrote in a report today, citing the bank’s chief economist for China, Helen Qiao……………………………………Full Article: Source

Platinum, Palladium Prices Surge On Supply Worries

Posted on 08 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Platinum prices hit a 10-month high last week boosted by supply worries despite an end to the five-month strike in South Africa’s platinum belt. Palladium was trading at close to its highest level since early 2001.
Spot platinum was at its strongest since September at $1,511 an ounce in the pm fix on July 2 on London’s Platinum and Palladium Market although had inched down to $1,503 in the pm fix on July 4. On Nymex, the platinum contract for October delivery settled $32.10 higher at $1,515 an ounce before easing back to close at $1,507.70 on July 3……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aluminium outperforms other metals except nickel

Posted on 08 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Much to the relief of aluminium producers, the white metal has outperformed other non-ferrous metals in price gains, except nickel, which managed to advance 40 per cent after Indonesia put a ban on minerals exports in January.
The three-month aluminium price, which in some intraday trades at London Metal Exchange (LME) breached the psychologically important $1,900 a tonne, has risen to its highest since August 2013. The undoing of aluminium for a long time has been excess capacity outside China and its use leading to the build up of stocks of over 5 million tonnes (mt) at LME warehouses……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman Sees China’s Iron Ore Production Falling 10%

Posted on 08 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Cuts to China’s iron ore production will be less than forecasts, with increased output at some lower cost inland mines offsetting closures at smaller coastal mines, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS)
Output may decline 10 percent over the two years to 2015, trimming production by 40 million tons, Goldman Sachs Australia Pty’s Global Investment Research Executive Director Christian Lelong said in an interview in Sydney on July 4. That compares with a JP Morgan Chase & Co. forecast that predicts China will need to cut about 64 million tons in 2014 and a further 85 million tons by 2017 to keep the market balanced……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Metals Making Comeback Lately - optionsXpress

Posted on 08 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There has been a stronger tone in a number of base and precious metals lately, says Mike Zarembski, senior commodities analyst with optionsXpress. “Don’t look now but one of the least loved commodity sectors by trader and analysts to start 2014— precious metals – (is) starting to display rather bullish price moves,” he says.
Palladium has led the charge on tight supplies and improving auto sales, he says. “However, some of the biggest surprises are in the performance of gold and silver of late,” he says. “Here, analysts note that gold ETF (exchange-traded-fund) purchases have increased and now stand at their highest levels since mid- April, as buyers are starting to turn once again towards gold as a diversification from equities and bonds due to rising global tensions especially in the Middle East, as well as, a potential hedge against rising inflation……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Can mining companies survive US$90/t iron ore prices?

Posted on 07 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

If iron ore prices “stagnate” at US$90 per ton through 2015, some miners’ key credit metrics might worsen significantly, based on scenario analysis on 10 major iron ore producers, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services observed this week.
“In particular, miners with large iron ore exposure, but are unable to cut costs and are saddled with debt, will face a severe deterioration in earnings and credit metrics,” warned S&P Credit Analysts May Zhong, Diego H. Ocampo, Andrey Nikolaev, Amanda Buckland, Elad Jelasko, and Xavier Jean………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Have Metals Finally Bottomed?

Posted on 07 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

I completely understand that you might think I am crazy for trying to call a bottom in the metals and mining sector. I probably am. Furthermore, I understand the “China slowdown” mindset very well. After all, the interesting fact has been how strong Chinese growth has been and how the country hasn’t experienced one simple recession yet (similar to Australia, where we have not had a technical recession in over 20 years).
Quite an amazing feat to be honest, but eventually we will have a mean reversion (in both countries). Personally, I have been expecting the negative surprise and even a potential recession to occur since late 2010. I rightfully warned my business partners against expanding the mining exploration company back in those days………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Signs of Economic Growth Drive Copper Prices Up

Posted on 03 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper closed at its highest price in more than four months on Wednesday as more signs of economic growth pushed prices for the industrial metal up. Copper for September delivery gained 6 cents, or 1.9 percent, to settle at $3.27 a pound Wednesday. That’s the highest price for the metal since February, according to the data provider FactSet.
A report on hiring from ADP, a payroll processor, said private employers added 281,000 workers last month, another sign the US economy is shaking off a winter slump………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Metals Probe Not a ‘Fundamentally Significant Issue for the Industry’, says BHP

Posted on 03 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

BHP Billiton Ltd. played down fears that a probe into commodity-backed loans in China would have a lasting effect on the mining industry. Mike Henry, marketing president for BHP, said Wednesday that jitters about the investigation were overblown and that it hadn’t affected BHP or the broader industry “in any serious way.” BHP is the world’s largest miner by market value.
Metal traders recently warned China’s commodity imports could face an extended fall from near-record rates as banks withhold credit and customs officials tighten checks on incoming shipments. That followed allegations a Chinese trading company illegally pledged metals as collateral to more than one lender………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Broad transformation needed in global mining - EY

Posted on 03 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global mining productivity has been declining on a volume and cost basis since 2000 as miners have chased production growth during the commodity boom, said EY Global Mining & Metals Advisory Leader Paul Mitchell.
Mining productivity in Australia has declined about 50% since 2001. Despite massive investment in new equipment and automation, Australian mining capital productivity has declined by 45% compared to 22% in all industries, says a new EY report, Productivity in mining: A case for broad transformation. Labor productivity in the U.S. coal sector has declined nearly 30% from 2009-2012, while in the South Africa gold sector, labor productivity is estimated to have declined 35% since 2007………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Platinum, Palladium: The Other Precious Metals

Posted on 02 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold isn’t the only precious metal that glitters today. Platinum prices broke through the $1,500 an-ounce mark today and palladium futures gained as better than expected U.S. car sales and a strike in South Africa attracted buyers.
October platinum jumped $26.70 or 1.9% to $1,509.6, while September palladium climbed $9.45 to $852.60. The related ETFs also gained, with the ETFS Physical Platinum Shares (PPLT) up 1.25% and the ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (PALL) up 1.03%………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Precious Metals Rising, Switzerland’s Vaults Keep Platinum Prices High

Posted on 02 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

This week we learned that a major reason for platinum’s price stability during the five-month-long South African mining strike was stockpiles of the metal held in Swiss vaults. The AMCU strike finally ended this week and miners went back to work for Lonmin, Impala and Anglo-American Platinum. Silver was the big winner on the LME, though, doubling the gains of its precious metal cousin, gold.
The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Global Precious Metals MMI® was the price of Japanese silver, which saw a 3.5 percent increase to JPY 680.00 ($6.70) per 10 grams. This week marked the third in a row of rising prices for the metal………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Canada could become REE powerhouse - with some help

Posted on 02 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A report by Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources says testimony before the group stressed “Canada has an opportunity to turn its rare earth deposits into a competitive advantage, and at the same time, secure its own supply of this resource into the future.”
In the report, “The Rare Earth Elements Industry in Canada—Summary of Evidence”, witnesses told the committee members that “Canada’s position is unique with respect to REE development not only because of its rare earth reserves, but also because of the country’s stable environment and mining expertise.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Switzerland’s Precious Metal Secret Vaults are Affecting the Platinum Market

Posted on 01 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In a recent article, we explored the impact on the platinum and palladium markets of the five-month-long miners’ strike in South Africa and postulated that one reason the price did not respond robustly to the loss of supply – South Africa does after all supply some 40% of global platinum – was due to inventory levels held in European vaults.
Consider, for a moment, the loss of nickel ores from Indonesia over a similar time frame which has resulted in a 50% price increase to its yearly peak in May and is still some 30% above Jan 1 prices as of today………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper Prices Seen Marching Higher

Posted on 01 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Some investors are turning bullish on copper prices, brushing aside concerns sparked by a probe into the metal’s place in China’s financial system. Instead, these investors are focusing on a rebound in manufacturing world-wide, which they expect will boost copper demand broadly. Increasing consumption by factories will offset any decline in the use of copper as collateral to back loans as a result of the probe, these investors say.
China is the world’s biggest copper consumer and importer, though how much of the metal goes to manufacturers is unclear. Copper prices hit a four-month high on Monday. Futures have recouped almost all of their losses from early June, when news broke that Chinese authorities were investigating allegations that a trading company in the port of Qingdao took out numerous loans against the same stock of metal………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Looming global supply ‘deficit’ lifts zinc prices - Mohr

Posted on 01 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

“Zinc is to be the next big base metals play for investors,” said Scotiabank economist Pat Mohr Monday in the latest edition of the Scotiabank Commodity Price Index.
“A pick-up in China’s Flash Purchasing Managers’ Index for June to 50.8 from 49.4 in May and a broad-based improvement in U.S. industrial activity (+4.3% yr/yr, centered in autos, business equipment and materials) lifted market sentiment,” she observed……………………………………….Full Article: Source

5 Reasons to Buy Gold and Gold Miners Now

Posted on 27 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold prices have had a nasty few years, as have major gold miners and mining stocks. Gold bullion prices are down significantly from highs around $1,900 an ounce… and even worse, gold investments including Newmont (NEM), Barrick Gold (ABX) and GoldCorp (GG) are all down over 50% in the last three years.
But there are signals that the worst may now be over, and it may be a good sign to start buying gold once more. Since January, gold has crept up steadily; the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), which tracks physical gold prices, is sitting on a roughly 10% gain – nearly double the return of the S&P 500 in the same period………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zinc Approaches 16-Month High in London as Supples Fall

Posted on 27 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Zinc rose, trading near a 16-month high, as inventories in warehouses tracked by the London Metal Exchange declined amid signs of improving demand. Stockpiles fell for a fourth session, extending a slide to the lowest since December 2010. Zinc, used in everything from brass plumbing fixtures to steel car parts, has gained 10 percent this quarter amid signs of recoveries in manufacturing and housing.
U.S. new-home sales posted the biggest one-month gain since 1992 in May, while American factories received more orders for business equipment, government data showed this week………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper Posts Longest Rally Since 2005 on Tighter Supply

Posted on 26 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper advanced for a ninth straight session in New York, capping the longest rally since 2005, amid signs of tightening supply. Inventories monitored by exchanges in London, Shanghai and New York fell for the 10th trading day in a row, and are at the lowest since October 2008.
Copper also rose after the dollar slid, as a report showing the U.S. economy shrank more in the first quarter than economists estimated boosted demand for alternative assets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

CPM predicts largest-ever platinum market deficit in 2014

Posted on 25 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Regardless of Monday’s announced end of the South African platinum strike, New York-based commodities research firm, CPM Group, forecasts that the platinum market is expected to record the largest deficit ever this year, as the shortfall of total supply of newly-refined platinum relative to fabrication demand is estimated at 818,823 ounces this year.
In the CPM Group Platinum Group Metals Yearbook 2014 made public Tuesday morning, CPM estimated that total refined platinum supply rose 2.6% to 7.2 million ounces last year. Most of the supply increase was from higher mine supplies, which rose 4.8%………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Time For Equities To Crash And Precious Metals To Spike?

Posted on 25 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There is a distinct possibility that equities could move down into an intermediate bottom and at roughly the same time gold could bottom. Equities have rocketed in the last 3 years while precious metals have plummeted.
We are quickly approaching an inflection point in the markets. Soon, market forces will overpower government and central bank interventions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Emerging markets firms to lead global mining sector: PwC

Posted on 25 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Emerging market mining companies outperformed their peers from traditional markets on profitability and on dividend yield in 2013 and continue to do so this year, the latest study released by PwC shows. In its Global mining report 2014, the experts note that net profits from progressing economies-based miners reached $24 billion in 2013, compared to a net loss of $4 billion for developed market firms.
According to the analysts, results in upcoming elections to be held in India, Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa may further alter the influence of emerging markets on mining. This will especially affect coal and iron ore, and potentially gold and potash, which incidentally contributed the most to decline in profitability………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Collateral Damage in China’s Commodity Pileup

Posted on 24 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The mysterious case of missing metals at a Chinese port is a headache for the global banks involved. It is also an omen of more widespread risks in the country’s financial system.
Several foreign banks including Citigroup Inc. and Standard Chartered PLC are investigating whether the same stocks of copper and aluminum, stored by a trading company at a Qingdao port, were pledged to all of them as collateral for loans. Deepening the intrigue, a major state-owned enterprise, Citic Resources Holdings Ltd. , says some metals that it has stored at the Qingdao port can’t be located………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Platinum Down, Palladium Up After End to South African Miners’ Strike

Posted on 24 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Prices for platinum and palladium shuffled between gains and losses Monday, as concerns about supplies of the precious metals persisted despite the apparent end of a five-month-old strike by South African miners.
Platinum for July delivery, the most actively traded contract, settled down 0.1%, or 70 cents, at $1,456.60 a troy ounce after trading between $1,441.20 and $1,459.40 an ounce. Palladium for September delivery closed up 0.1%, or 45 cents, at $822.65 a troy ounce. The September contract had slid to a low of $810.50 an ounce………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why Precious Metals Remain Attractive

Posted on 23 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

They say the third time’s a charm - and if the narrowed range that has confined silver over the past two years is any indication, those participants patient enough should be rewarded handsomely for their extended stay on the long side of the field. Going into this month, silver was presenting a third iteration of the patterned reversal - with all of the positive momentum trappings that had defined the previous two.
Adding fuel to the fire and despite the fact that silver had maintained a bid above last years low, those late to the short-side of the tracks or holding more dogmatic persuasions had built up a dangerously large short position almost 50% above last years record congregation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China Metal Probe Weighs on Copper Outlook

Posted on 23 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds and other money managers are increasing their bets against copper, according to U.S. data, amplifying pressure on prices following allegations of fraudulent metal-backed financing in China.
The wagers are likely to further weigh on the outlook for one of the world’s most heavily traded metals, as the effects of an official probe on stockpiles in the eastern Chinese port of Qingdao continue to ripple across global markets. The port’s operator has confirmed that Chinese authorities are investigating allegations of fraud relating to stockpiles of metals, though the government hasn’t commented publicly……………………………………….Full Article: Source

China scandal weighs on iron ore price

Posted on 23 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hopes of a recovery in the iron ore price could be dashed by reports that a financing scandal has put the brakes on imports of iron ore and copper at key Chinese ports. Just days after iron ore minnow Termite Resources shuttered its Cairn Hill iron ore mine in South Australia, reports in the Wall Street Journal suggest that banks are examining allegations that a Chinese trading company pledged metal as collateral to more than one lender.
Chinese traders have long used commodities such as iron ore and copper as collateral to borrow from overseas, thus avoiding both China’s capital controls and its higher interest rates………………………………………..Full Article: Source

2014 gold mine capital cost to peak at US$2,400/oz - SNL Financial

Posted on 20 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The cost of building a mine has increased significantly over the last decade, from US$560 per ounce of gold production capacity in 2004 to more than $2,300/oz last year, says a new report by SNL Metals & Mining. Based on data from mines currently under construction, capital costs are expected to peak this year at almost $2,400/oz, according to an article by SNL metals analyst Kevin Murphy.
“The three-year-running-average capital cost of capacity follows behind the trend set by the gold price,” said the SNL report, Strategies for Gold Reserves Replacement. “When gold prices increased sharply in 2006, producers responded by approving construction of more capital-intensive projects, which began at earlier gold prices.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Rare Earth Metals Staging a Comeback?

Posted on 20 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The market for rare earth metals represents the ultimate paradox. Rocketing prices a few years ago sent manufacturers scrambling for lower-cost alternatives, causing the bottom to fall out of virtually every rare earth mining stock.
The weakest junior miners were forced to shutter their doors. But a 60% spike in praseodymium prices is a surefire signal that demand is back. Hold your applause, though…While much higher prices make the handful of surviving rare earth explorers immensely attractive, another pricing panic could simply lead to demand destruction all over again………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Probe May Hit China’s Imports of Copper, Iron Ore

Posted on 20 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s imports of copper and iron ore may drop due to an alleged financing scandal, as banks withhold credit and customs officials tighten checks on incoming shipments, metals traders say.
Western banks are looking into allegations that a Chinese trading company illegally pledged metals as collateral to more than one lender. The operator of Qingdao Port, the eastern Chinese port where the metals are stored, has confirmed that Chinese authorities are investigating allegations of fraud relating to stockpiles of metals………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper demand to overtake surplus by 2019: Zimtu

Posted on 20 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Demand for refined copper will overtake the current surplus by 2019, says Zimtu analyst Derek Hamill. “Copper supplies are likely to exceed demand in 2014 and 2015; we further expect this situation to persist for 2016 and 2017,” Hamill writes in a report titled Multi-Year Global Copper Market Outlook.
Copper demand is intensifying due largely to continued urbanization and industrialization in Asia, particularly China and India. Hamill also notes that copper mining economics are “changing dramatically” because of rising operating costs, higher regulatory hurdles and declining grades, and that should increase prices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Forget gold, time to buy searing hot ‘white metals’

Posted on 19 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

While gold has been climbing higher recently as investors seek safety due to the deteriorating conditions in northern Iraq, the ‘white metals’ as they are called have been searing hot.
Palladium is near five-year highs after tailing off a smidge, and platinum’s been on fire the past few months. The prescient Jonathan Hoenig of the Capitalist Pig Hedge Fund was on Breakout two months ago, banging the table telling viewers to buy these metals. In the attached video, he says the trade’s still on and you still have time to play it…………………………………..Full Article: Source

At last! Scientists glimpse Earth’s most abundant mineral

Posted on 19 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Earth’s most abundant mineral lies deep in the planet’s interior, sealed off from human eyes. Now, scientists for the first time have gotten a glimpse of the material in nature, enclosed inside a 4.5-billion-year-old meteorite. The result: They have characterized and named the elusive mineral.
The new official name, bridgmanite, was approved for the mineral formerly known by its chemical components and crystal structure — silicate-perovskite. The magnesium-silicate mineral was named after Percy Bridgman, a 1946 Nobel Prize-winning physicist, according to the American Geophysical Union blog…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper Advances on Bets Demand Will Climb in China, U.S.

Posted on 17 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper futures rose for the second straight session on signs that demand will pick up as economies gain in China, the world’s top consumer of industrial metals, and the U.S., the second-biggest.
China’s central bank extended a cut in reserve requirements to some national lenders as officials try to support the economy without broader stimulus. In the U.S., industrial output increased more than forecast in May, while the Federal Reserve of New York’s Empire manufacturing report unexpectedly climbed this month as orders jumped………………………………………..Full Article: Source

2013 Top 10 Copper Producing Countries

Posted on 17 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In terms of copper production, it’s Chile who accounts for the lion’s share of world output by far. However, there are still several other countries with significant operations, including neighbouring Peru, as well as China, the U.S. and Russia.
The United States Geological Survey released its most recent set of data on copper-producing countries, and Copper Investing News took a look to see who made the top ten. Below is a list of the top ten copper producing countries as reported by the USGS, ordered by total production………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron ore price nears $US90 a tonne

Posted on 16 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The iron ore price is flirting with the crucial $US90 a tonne threshold after inching even lower over the weekend as weakened steel demand in China continued to weigh on the commodity. Benchmark iron ore for immediate delivery to the port of Tianjin in China is trading at $US90.90 a tonne, a decline from $US91.50 in the previous session.
The commodity is closing the gap between its current price and its $US86.9 a tonne trough during September 2012, and currently sits at its lowest point since September 7, 2012, when it traded at $US89 a tonne………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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