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Copper Prices at Lowest Point in Six Years - Is It Time to Buy or Avoid This Precious Metal?

Posted on 10 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There have been rough times in the commodity markets, but copper has been hit especially hard. From an early-2011 peak that approached $10,000 per metric ton, copper lost nearly 30% of its value in mid-2011, and after a brief recovery, has slowly dropped to its current price ($2.534 per pound or $5,575 per metric ton as of this writing).
That is the lowest price since the massive 2008 slump that saw prices rapidly drop below $1.50 per pound. Has the copper price bottomed out, and is it time to buy? That is not a simple call. Copper prices are far more difficult to predict now. Copper stocks have come into increasing use as a financial tool because of its relative liquidity, thus the demand is split into two components – those who are using it solely as a financial vehicle and others who are using it for manufacturing purposes………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nickel Falls With Zinc as China Trade Surplus Shows Weak Demand

Posted on 10 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nickel and zinc retreated for the first time in three days after a record trade surplus for China, the largest metals consumer, highlighted weak domestic demand.
Nickel lost as much as 1.2 percent while zinc dropped as much as 0.8 percent. Imports into China during January fell 19.9 percent from a year earlier, the most in five years, while exports fell 3.3 percent, the customs administration said Sunday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s Copper Ore Imports Slide After Record Smelter Production

Posted on 09 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s imports of copper ore and concentrate, used to make the refined metal, fell for the first time in three months after smelters in the world’s largest consumer boosted production to a record last year.
Inbound shipments in January fell to 930,000 metric tons, down 20 percent from the previous month, according to General Administration of Customs data released Sunday in Beijing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper, copper everywhere, but why now?

Posted on 09 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There suddenly seems to be a whole lot of copper around. On Thursday the London Metal Exchange (LME) reported a 32,500-tonne rise in inventories, reflecting the warranting of 32,750 tonnes of copper. Aluminium traders will probably shrug their shoulders. That market has long got used to massive tonnages hitting the LME system.
But in copper a single-day increase of this scale is almost unheard of. Indeed, you’d have to go all the way back to July 2001 to find a bigger one-day surge, as shown in the first of the charts below. And it merely marks an acceleration of a trend that has been running since the start of the year. LME stocks have risen by 107,425 tonnes, or 61 percent, since the beginning of January………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global debt haunts mineral prices

Posted on 09 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Not quite six weeks into the year and already the wall metals need to climb gets higher by the day. On top of a global emerging currency war — in the space of just over five weeks 17 central banks have loosened monetary policy — there is all that debt.
As McKinsey Global Institute asked during the week, “can we thrive in a world awash with debt?” Since 2007, it reports, ­global debt has increased by $US57 trillion ($73 trillion). On Thursday, copper inventories at the London Metal Exchange jumped by 32,500 tonnes in a 24-hour period (to 284,600 tonnes). Inventories of the red metal at the Antwerp warehouse alone have risen 65 per cent since January 1………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mining firms suffer reversal of fortune in Africa

Posted on 09 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Mining companies’ excitement over Africa is being cooled by fresh five-year lows in commodity prices – resulting in cuts to investment in even the most resource-rich countries. When the commodities supercycle was in full swing, Africa was a frontier of choice, offering investors some of the best but least-explored mineral resources.
Miners scrambled for choice assets, exemplified by Rio Tinto’s $3.7bn acquisition of a coal project in Mozambique in 2011. But, in sharp contrast, the past year has been bitter for miners. South Africa’s platinum sector endured a five-month strike; iron ore mines closed in Ebola-hit Sierra Leone; and copper-rich Zambia crossed swords with global companies over a tax rise. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Thinking of switching from gold to gold miners?

Posted on 06 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The recent strengthening of the gold price along with a weaker rand in the last quarter of 2014 has prompted many investors to consider switching from owning physical gold (Like the ABSA NewGold ETF) to owning the shares of gold mining companies.
The attraction of owning shares is obvious when the operating margin of gold companies is increasing. This can happen when things outside (rand/dollar exchange rate, gold price) or inside the mines’ control results in income rising faster than costs. This widening of the operating margin creates free cash flow, which in turn underpins a rising share price and results in a holding income for investors (dividends)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Analysts bearish on copper despite recent spike

Posted on 06 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The copper price hit a two-week high after easing measures by China’s central bank lifted hopes of growing demand for the metal, but analysts don’t expect the rally to last. The London Metal Exchange spot price for copper rose to $US5755 a tonne late on Wednesday, the highest in two weeks, after the People’s Bank of China cut the reserve requirement ratio for banks, while in the US, service industries expanded at a faster pace in January, with both events fuelling expectations for economic growth.
In Asian trade on Thursday, copper gave up some of its gains, slipping to $US5650 a tonne. Only a week ago the spot price for the base metal was $US5391, the lowest since July 2009………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nyrstar Sees Zinc Prices Rising as Shortage Looms by End of Year

Posted on 06 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nyrstar NV, the world’s largest refined-zinc producer, expects the price of the metal to increase further after the 500,000 metric ton Century mine in Australia shuts by the end of the year.
“We are heading into a period that is forecast to be short on both the concentrate market and the refined metal market,” Heinz Eigner, acting chief executive officer of Belgium-based Nyrstar, said in a phone interview. “This double deficit” is pushing the metal into a “very strong price range,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s Reserve Ratio Cut Won’t Help Mining Commodities: Goldman

Posted on 06 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Could China’s cash-strapped miners get a boost after the People’s Bank of China cut its banks’ required reserve ratio by 50 basis points? Don’t count on it, argued Goldman Sachs‘ Eugene King and Christophor Jost, mainly because even if there is more liquidity in the Chinese economy, demand for steel and early stage mining commodities such as coal and copper are “more geared to government fixed asset investment spending than private capital.”
Earlier this week, Credit Suisse pointed out that infrastructure projects have been stalled at the provincial level. See my February 1blog “China Growth “Could Be Very Weak” In Q1 As Policymakers Disagree“………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bearish bets on copper begin to fade

Posted on 05 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Are copper bears closing their bearish bets? That’s the talk in the market place. Open interest — the number of futures and options contracts outstanding — on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) has fallen significantly in recent days, according to Standard Bank, including a 35,800 lot reduction on Tuesday.
It is currently 896,212 lots, down 6 per cent from the record level of 952,018 lots seen on January 30. “After going aggressively short in the second week of January, and again in the last week of January, it now seems that the Chinese copper speculators are heading for the exit,” says Standard Bank analyst Leon Westgate………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China supply could limit aluminium gains

Posted on 05 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The aluminium market faces the prospect of a growing surge of supply from China this year that could disrupt expectations of a global deficit. A divergence in prices between China and the rest of the world could spur exports and limit aluminium’s price gains this year, analysts say. A falling rouble that has improved the competitiveness of Russian smelters could also prompt more supply.
At $1,765 a tonne, the London Metal Exchange price for three-month delivery of aluminium has risen 1.4 per cent this year, the best performing base metal on the exchange………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper Posts Biggest Daily Gain in Nearly 2 Years

Posted on 04 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper prices closed with their highest gain in nearly two years Tuesday, lifted by soaring oil prices and expectations that China would use stimulus measures to kick-start its economy. Copper for March delivery, the most actively traded contract, settled up 3.7% to $2.5815 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, its sharpest rally in percentage terms since May 3, 2013.
Front-month Nymex crude futures hit a one-month high as a U.S. refinery strike pushed up prices for petroleum products. Oil’s rally prompted a rush into other commodities, including copper, which had fallen to a 5½-year low in recent weeks as investors worried that slowing global economic growth would dull demand for the metal………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aluminum industry body stops stocks data reports in blow to transparency

Posted on 03 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The International Aluminum Institute (IAI) has stopped reporting global inventory stocks, in another blow to transparency for a metal whose price, critics say, has been skewed by big banks and trading houses.
In a statement, the IAI said the aluminum stocks numbers it receives from global smelters had become incomplete to the point where it would be misleading to carry on reporting them. Last year, a U.S. Senate investigation concluded that Wall Street banks had manipulated commodity prices and gained unfair trading advantages at the expense of consumers. The problem was especially acute in aluminum………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold Caps for Biggest Drop Since 2013 as Silver Plummets

Posted on 30 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold futures fell the most in 13 months and silver posted the biggest plunge since June 2013 as signs of a robust U.S. labor market cut demand for haven assets. The two most-traded gold options were bets on further declines, and prices for the contracts doubled. Aggregate futures trading was 79 percent above the 100-day average for this time of day, with silver 70 percent higher, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
The fewest Americans in almost 15 years filed applications for unemployment benefits in the week ended Jan. 24. Economic activity “has been expanding at a solid pace,” Federal Reserve officials said in a statement on Wednesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Growth in China’s nonferrous metals consumption seen to shrink further

Posted on 30 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The growth rate of China’s consumption of nonferrous metals will dip into the single-digit range in 2015 and is expected to fall further in coming years due to the structural challenges facing the sector, Shaanxi Magnesium Industry Group said Thursday, January 29.
The group in a report said surplus supply in the aluminum and copper segments were among the key challenges. The “wave-style” expansion of consumption seen in recent years has ended and traditional markets have become saturated amid the emergence of new technologies, new products and new industry and commercial modes, the group said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is Aluminum the New Doctor Copper?

Posted on 30 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

When you’re ill, it often pays to get a second opinion. For many years now, investors have turned to ‘Doctor Copper’ for an indication as to the health of the global economy. The red metal is used in everything from construction to white goods to kitchenware, and so it’s seen as a pretty accurate indicator of economic health.
But some argue copper’s lost its mojo. According to Eugen Weinberg, head of commodity research at Commerzbank, all the red metal tells us about is the state of some large emerging markets, and, more specifically, China. It may even be in danger of going the way of the Baltic Freight Index – a previous barometer for trade activity based on transportation rates that has fallen out of favor (and was replaced by the Baltic Dry Index)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Chile trims copper prices expectations for 2015

Posted on 30 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Chilean Copper Commission, known as Cochilco, on Thursday revised downward its expectations for the average copper price in 2015, to $2.85 a pound from the $3.00 a pound it forecast in October. Chilean copper production is expected to be 6 million tons this year, down from the 6.23 million tons Cochilco projected in October.
Chile is the world’s largest copper producer and each one-cent increase in the price of the red metal represents more than $40 million in additional government revenue………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Industrially exposed precious metals are looking attractive relative to Gold

Posted on 29 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The ECB’s commitment to create inflation, if successful, should benefit gold but it could be more beneficial to the other more industrial cyclical commodities and precious metals , most notably platinum, said ETF Securities.
Despite nearing recession, European auto sales increased 1.4% in 2014 which was the first annual increase since 2011 (see chart on page 2). Pent up demand appears at play as vehicles last only so long. Platinum is the primary catalyst for diesel vehicle emission controls and Europe is the world’s largest diesel market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zinc and nickel price upside ‘imminent’: Clarus

Posted on 29 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There has been a lot of bullish talk in the metals community about zinc and nickel over the past couple of years, as many insiders believe those commodities are poised for a rally. You can include Clarus Securities analyst Mike Bandrowski in that group. He published a detailed note on Tuesday that suggests zinc and nickel have “imminent” upside and will perform very strongly over the next two years as inventories disappear.
In the case of zinc, Mr. Bandrowski noted the market is already in deficit, and that deficit should get bigger following the closures of the Lisheen and Century mines this year. He said exchange inventories have fallen by more than half over the last two years and should be at “critical” levels later in 2015………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper Rises

Posted on 29 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper rose for the second time in three days amid speculation that the metal’s slump to a five-year low will encourage miners to reduce output, pointing to tighter supplies. Freeport-McMoRan Inc., the world’s largest publicly traded producer, said this week it expects to spend about 20 percent less on mining and energy projects this year than forecast in October.
Rio Tinto Group, the second-biggest global mining company, said Jan. 20 its production of the metal fell in the three months through Dec. 31. Copper prices are trading near the lowest since 2009………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper slips to new five-year low

Posted on 28 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper futures have closed significantly lower on the London Metal Exchange with the release of worse-than-expected economic data out of the US sending prices tumbling to near five-and-a-half-year lows. The LME’s three-month copper contract was down 2.8 per cent at $US5,425.00 a metric tonne at Tuesday’s PM kerb close - having been down almost three per cent at an intra-day low of $US5,418.00 a tonne.
Copper prices plunged again as sellers came back into the market thanks to an apparent growth slowdown to come in the US, according to Jasper Lawler, a market analyst at CMC Markets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities? Brazil Iron-Ore Startup Says Cosmetics a Better Bet

Posted on 28 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Things are so bad for mining projects in Brazil that startup All Ore Mineracao SA (AORE3) is changing its line of business for something more glamorous: cosmetics. All Ore, whose 2009 listing made it the last iron-ore company to start trading on the Sao Paulo stock exchange, said it’s abandoning commodities to focus instead in the beauty and health-care market.
The company, which hadn’t yet started operations at iron-ore and gold projects in northern Brazil, will buy a cosmetic producer and change its corporate purpose, it said in a regulatory filing Tuesday. Investors approved. Shares jumped as much as 70 percent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Japanese aluminum stocks hit all-time high, putting pressure on prices

Posted on 27 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Aluminum stocks had risen to 413,000-419,900 mt in Japan, which is an all-time high, putting pressure on local prices as some companies want to destock before March, the end of the Japanese financial year, market sources said Monday, January 26. Aluminum stocks at three main Japanese ports had swollen by the end of December, according to trading house surveys.
Some recent buy tenders settled low as a result, traders said. Two Japanese consumers were seeking 500-1,000 mt lots via tender last week, traders said. They were seeking deliveries into Nagoya and Yokohama………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Has China’s base metals import appetite peaked?

Posted on 27 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Not so very long ago base metals bulls marched to the beat of the monthly release of China’s trade figures. The country’s import appetite was seemingly insatiable as it sucked in ever-increasing volumes to feed its booming infrastructure and property programmes.
Not any more, though. Net imports of refined aluminium, nickel, zinc and tin all fell last year, some of them precipitously. China isn’t a net importer of refined lead at all, a steady flow of exports helping explain why this particular market is so out of favour with investors right now………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Platinum Is Worth Acquiring When Cheaper Than Gold

Posted on 26 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Platinum is cheaper than gold, which is the opposite of what’s usually the case. The supply side of platinum is bad and will get worse if prices do not improve. Demand for platinum can only increase while substitutes become less attractive.
Platinum is one of the best known precious metals. While not as popular as gold and silver, there are some people out there who consider platinum to be an alternative candidate to those two metals………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global aluminium production; the sound of one hand clapping

Posted on 26 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

What is the sound of one hand clapping? It’s supposed to be a question without an answer, a test posed by the master to the disciple in the Zen journey towards enlightenment. But it’s also as good a description as any of the current state of global aluminium production.
The one hand clapping is that of the non-China world, where producer discipline has tamed supply sufficiently to drag the market into a state of deficit. Such enlightenment has taken several years to achieve and marks only the very first step towards correcting the mistakes of the past. These still weigh heavily over the aluminium price in the form of millions of tonnes of accumulated surplus………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold and Silver Buyers Take a Shine to Precious Metals Again

Posted on 23 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold and silver are getting another turn in the spotlight, luring investors worried about slowing global growth and surprises by central banks. On Thursday, the European Central Bank offered the latest reason to pile into precious metals by unleashing a bigger-than-expected bond-buying program amid continued worries about Europe’s economy.
Gold futures ended above $1,300 a troy ounce for the first time since August, while silver neared bull-market territory, defined as a 20% increase from a recent low. Gold and silver are drawing buyers of all stripes, a sign fears about a worsening economic outlook run deep in financial markets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global aluminum production; the sound of one hand clapping: Andy Home

Posted on 23 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

What is the sound of one hand clapping? It’s supposed to be a question without an answer, a test posed by the master to the disciple in the Zen journey toward enlightenment.
But it’s also as good a description as any of the current state of global aluminum production. The one hand clapping is that of the non-China world, where producer discipline has tamed supply sufficiently to drag the market into a state of deficit………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper prices may rise to $10,000 a tonne by year-end: Simon Hunt

Posted on 22 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper prices in the global market are likely to witness an exponential rise and may even hit the USD 10,000 a tonne mark by the end of this year, according to an industry expert. However, after a brief boom the prices are expected to decline and may even plunge below the $2,000 a tonne level by 2017.
“Copper prices will stabilise in Q2 of 2015 and from third quarter onwards price will begin to rise exponentially and may even touch USD 10,000 a tonne by end of 2015 and early 2016, before it begins its downward journey,” global copper analyst and economist Simon Hunt said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron ore price extends slump

Posted on 22 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The price of iron ore is now dangerously close to a more than five-year low after the commodity was again sold off overnight. At the end of the latest offshore session, benchmark iron ore for immediate delivery to the port of Tianjin in China was trading at $US66.50 a tonne, down 1.3 per cent from its previous close of $US67.40 a tonne and the lowest mark for 2015 to date.
It also leaves the commodity just 1 per cent above the five-and-a-half year trough of $US65.60, reached on December 23. The latest weakness represents the third straight day of falls, with the streak following quickly on the back of a six-day losing run that was snapped last week………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Palladium Is Rarer Than Gold and, Thanks to Cheap Oil, Now Rarer Still

Posted on 21 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

America’s renewed love affair with the automobile is tightening global supplies of palladium, a metal rarer than gold. While each car requires only a few grams of palladium, demand in 2015 will probably exceed supply for a fourth consecutive year, according to Johnson Matthey Plc, a maker of catalytic converters for automobiles that use the metal to reduce harmful tailpipe emissions.
Global car sales rose 3.4 percent last year to a record 81.6 million vehicles, Macquarie Group Ltd. said in a report last week………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Asia alumina: Stable at $352/mt; buyers, sellers stand back

Posted on 20 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Platts Australian alumina daily assessment at $352/mt FOB was unchanged Monday from Friday, as buyers and sellers were treading water. The Australian market has been tracking China’s domestic prices, as China remains the largest prospective net buyer in the international open market.
In the last week, there have been signs of interest and material to be had, but no immediate signs of active buyers or sellers. Price discussions in Asia have momentarily been CIF China driven rather than FOB Australia………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper Finds a Friend in Morgan Stanley

Posted on 20 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It’s when you’re down that you know who your friends are. Copper’s sharp decline to a five-and-a-half-year low on Wednesday prompted an outflow of negative sentiment. Furthermore, in the wake of oil prices slipping lower, some market participants have been comparing the trajectory of the red metal with that of black gold.
Others, however, are standing by the metal. “We were surprised by last week’s 6% correction in copper, but with no evidence of impaired trade or a collapse in demand, we remain bullish on the copper outlook,” said Morgan Stanley in a research note………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World refined lead market close to balance in Jan-Nov 2014: ILZSG

Posted on 20 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

World refined lead metal supply and demand were close to balance during the first 11 months of 2014, according to provisional figures released Monday by the International Lead & Zinc Study Group. ILZSG figures showed metal output at 10.3 million mt for January-November exceeding consumption by a marginal 1,000 mt.
For the same period in 2013, metal usage exceeded production by 20,000 mt. Global demand for refined lead metal increased by 1% year on year in January-November, mainly as a result of rises of 2.3% and 1.2% in Europe and China, respectively, the ILZSG said. Usage in the US declined by 0.6%………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper: Not wired for price revival

Posted on 19 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper prices, which avoided a meltdown in 2014, are being hammered since the start of 2015. Copper prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME) dropped 15 per cent in 2014 to $6,400 a tonne; this is not a bad show, given that other metals such as iron saw their prices cut in half. It not just belied analyst expectations last year of a price revival, but has dropped to a low of $5,500 a tonne currently.
Weakness to continue: Even after such a steep drop, copper prices may continue to remain soft in 2015 due to three factors — unfavourable demand-supply dynamics, strengthening dollar and falling crude prices. These reasons could keep copper from clawing back any gains this year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Morgan Stanley: We’re Still Bullish Australian Miners

Posted on 19 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Morgan Stanley are out with a report on the commodity cycle and Australian miners are they are bullish. As the Mining Index deterioration accelerates, we are focused on the 2016 horizon and the recovery implied by the cyclical nature of the group.
Undoubtedly, some miners face difficulties as volumes need to be taken out of the market to balance the supply-demand relationship, but those that work through the cycle will likely be viewed as ‘cheap’ in hindsight. Using foresight to say that with hindsight miners will look cheap discounts a lot of information and expectation into current and future price expectations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper Posts Biggest Gain in Four Months

Posted on 16 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper prices notched their biggest one-day percentage gain in four months Thursday as investors took advantage of the recent slide to 5 1/2-year lows.
The most actively traded contract, copper for March delivery, rose 5.25 cents, or 2.1%, to settle at $2.5580 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the largest percentage gain since Sept. 16………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper takes a beating – but it may be a panic reaction

Posted on 15 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Fears grow over global economic health as copper leads a commodities sell-off after the World Bank cuts growth forecasts. Copper prices, seen as a barometer of industrial demand around the world, plunged to a five-and-a-half low on Wednesday as fears grew over the health of the global economy.
Amid a wider commodities sell-off the metal was down more than 8% at one point at $5,353.25 (£3,531.38) a tonne – a level last seen during the depths of the financial crisis in July 2009………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper slump heightens concern over state of mining sector

Posted on 15 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Shares in global miners were pummelled on Wednesday after sharp falls in the price of copper exacerbated investor concerns over the parlous state of the sector, already hit by oversupply of many other key commodities.
“The last bastion of commodity price stability crumbles following what is effectively a wholesale exodus from physical commodities,” said analysts at Investec………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper price slump may not yet be deep enough to cut much output

Posted on 14 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A slump in copper prices to their lowest in five years has pushed as much as a tenth of the world’s miners into the red, but the market may not yet feel enough pain to trigger deep production cuts this time round.
Prices on the London Metal Exchange pierced below $6,000 per tonne on Monday for the first time since October 2009, as the metal slid along with a relentless decline in oil prices and concerns about a growing metal surplus. Copper’s 16 percent decline since July is the biggest since 2013………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The beginning of the end for gold and industrial metals price falls?

Posted on 13 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The title of this article could be taken two ways, but our meaning in using it – courtesy of London metals and mining commentator David Hargreaves’ Week in Mining newsletter, which used aspects of the famous Winston Churchill wartime quote in its title and conclusions this week – is that are we perhaps actually nearing the bottom of the prices downturn virtually across the board in resources?
As the newsletter points out – the Brent crude oil price has fallen through $50/bbl, iron ore is staring down the abyss, copper has a look of testing $6,000 per tonne on the downside, while gold has picked up to $1,200 plus etc………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zinc, copper, nickel and aluminium: Base metal prices predicted to chart a smoother course in 2015

Posted on 13 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In line with all other mineral commodities, base (or industrial) metals, like lead, zinc, nickel and copper, were beset by poor prices in 2014, as well as in previous years. They tend to require levels of refinement, which render them energy intensive, especially aluminium, and are sensitive to energy prices.
Australian base metal producers are also coming under pressure from a slowdown in economic activity in China, the largest consumer of industrial minerals. The stronger US dollar has also exerted downward pressure on prices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

What Trend Will Aluminum Price Track in 2015?

Posted on 13 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Aluminum price have been falling these recent days? What trend will aluminum price track in 2015? “Aluminum prices are forecast to fluctuate between 12,500-14,000 yuan per tonne in 2015,” said Guosen Futures’s research report, adding big supply pressures will stand out in Q1 2015 due to weaker consumption from 2014 Q4’s.
Supply concerns on bauxite, growth of new capacities and power price reform will be the three major factors dominating Chinese aluminum market in 2015, Guotai Junan Futures’s research report pointed out. “Aluminum prices are expected to fall first, and then rally before falling again in 2015, with little possibility that aluminum prices will rise above 15,000 yuan per tonne,” the report noted………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold miners struggle to shine in investors’ eyes

Posted on 12 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold miners are hoping that the four-year low in the precious metal’s price, recorded in November, marked the end of a torrid period for the industry – and that the outlook will be brighter in 2015.
But many investors in gold fear the miners are still placing too much faith in a cyclical recovery and not making structural changes to put the sector on a stronger footing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investors bet on copper price fall

Posted on 09 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investors are betting the price of copper will fall further as the US dollar continues to strengthen and global economic growth shows few signs of recovery. Yet a reduction in mine supply last year has left the market almost balanced, meaning any pick-up in demand or further supply reduction could tip the price into positive territory, leaving those short the metal on the wrong side of the trade.
At 16 per cent of the London Metal Exchange market, the largest market in the world for metals trading, contracts betting that copper will fall are at the highest level since the exchange started publishing the data in July. On the Shanghai Futures Exchange, the number of similar contracts has jumped by 180 per cent since the beginning of December………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The outlook for the base metals sector this year

Posted on 09 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

We are updating our commodity price forecast by marking-to-market our short-term and medium term prices. The most meaningful changes were for copper, nickel and molybdenum in 2015/16 and thermal/HCC coal throughout the whole forecast period and long term. DCM’s commodity preferences are n>Ni>Cu>coal (bulks). The new reality driving the adjustment to our forecast prices is the on-going strength of the U.S. dollar, the slowdown in the global economy (deficient demand), and lack of supply discipline.
The lessons learned from oil’s price collapse, is that there needs to be a significant reduction in supply before prices can rebound. Copper prices may suffer a similar examination in 2015. Given the recent flow of funds, we do not expect base metal stocks to outperform until the U.S. dollar peaks (first U.S. rate hike?). So investor patience will be tested. We expect strong trading rallies in 2015 as risk/reward attractive, especially if the U.S. dollar corrects………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Rare Earths and Technology Metals – Was 2014 a Lost Year?

Posted on 09 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In a space in which there are too many “lost years” of late, we cannot deem 2014 as anything but yet another lost year, especially for the Rare Earth space. Let’s hope it will be the last of such periods. The first half was pretty good with many, including ourselves, calling a turn in fortunes but this was a more generalized improvement linked to a better vibe in the mining space in general.
It was certainly not linked to price appreciation in Rare Earths or indeed, in any of the specialty metals. REE prices remained firmly stuck were they were with the Chinese sending out vibrations that didn’t give much hope for improvement either………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper, Aluminum Extend Losses as Oil’s Slump Fuels Growth Worry

Posted on 08 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper fell, extending declines from a four-year low, while aluminum languished near the weakest in seven months on fears oil’s slump signals a slowdown in economic growth and weaker commodities demand.
Crude oil in New York slid below $48 a barrel, extending losses to the lowest in more than five years, and the euro area is poised to post its first drop in consumer prices since 2009, fueling pessimism over the global economy. The Federal Reserve releases minutes of its last meeting of 2014 today and U.S. jobs data are due later this week………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nickel Posts Biggest Two-Day Rally in a Month on China’s Outlook

Posted on 07 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nickel prices climbed, capping the biggest two-day rally in a month, on speculation that increased economic stimulus will boost demand in China, the world’s biggest user of industrial metals.
China is accelerating 300 infrastructure projects valued at 7 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion) this year as policy makers seek to shore up growth that’s in danger of slipping below 7 percent, said people familiar with the matter. In the second half of 2014, nickel dropped 20 percent amid concern that growth in the Asian nation was slowing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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