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2013 global mine profits lowest in a decade - PwC

Posted on 06 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

“2013 was a year that forced the global mining industry to realign expectations in one of the most difficult operating environments for years,” said PwC in its latest Mine report published Thursday. Led by gold’s greatest decline in three decades, commodity prices decreased significantly and mining stocks fell 23% in 2013.
Coupled with record impairments of $57 billion last year, global mining’s net profits plunged 72% to a decade low of $20 billion in 2013. Gold miners endured another particularly bad year, losing $110 billion off market capitalization, accounting for almost 40% of the overall reduction in market capitalization last year. “Five gold companies fell out of the Top 40 in 2013, exacerbating this drop in value,” PwC noted………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Metals financing concerns rise in China

Posted on 06 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

One of China’s busiest ports is investigating whether aluminium and copper stocks have been used multiple times as collateral against loans, reigniting concerns about financing activity in the world’s biggest commodity consumer. The case, which could have implications for western banks and trading houses, comes amid a crackdown on shadow financing and corruption in China.
A private Chinese metals company is alleged to have pledged the aluminium and copper stocks stored at warehouses in Qingdao as collateral for loans more than once………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is There a Cleaner Way to Make Metals?

Posted on 06 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Making metal is a dirty business, and we don’t just mean in terms of getting your hands dirty. Creating useable metals from the ores that are dug from the ground is a heavily polluting endeavor—but it might be about to get a whole lot cleaner.
Most metals are created in a two-step process. First, the excavated ores are ground down and filtered to get rid of the obvious junk and intruder metal ores, leaving just the metal oxides—metallic atoms bound up with other elements including oxygen, as opposed to in its pure form………………………………………..Full Article: Source

In a falling precious metals market, palladium shines

Posted on 05 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Palladium has turned out to be a standout metal in recent days and has outperformed other precious metals, especially gold and silver which are steadily falling. While strong demand and weak supply have combined to push palladium prices to new highs, the performance of platinum has been somewhat weak.
Platinum prices fell, but surely not as much as that of either gold or silver. If anything, the price differential between platinum and gold is widening and currently stands at around $200 an ounce. Prolonged strike in South Africa from early this year has provided support from the supply side to the two industrially-oriented precious metals………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron ore rebounds, but more drops could be coming

Posted on 05 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The iron ore price bounced back overnight as Chinese steel mills dipped into the market, but observers are not convinced the bulk commodity has found its bottom. The spot price for iron ore jumped 2.2 per cent to $US94.60, moving further away from a 20-month low hit on Friday. The commodity is still down nearly 30 per cent since the start of the year.
The spot rise came on the back of cargo purchases from Chinese mills, traders said. The purchases remained relatively small due to the oversupply of iron ore in May………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China, US to ‘rescue’ copper

Posted on 05 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper prices are expected to rebound on the international market on the back of increased activity in the construction and utility sectors in China and the United States. Stanbic Bank managing director Charles Mudiwa said the demand for copper in China and the USA will require Zambia to increase its copper production.
He, however, said increased copper production to meet the growing demand in China and the USA will depend on reliable electricity supply………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Coal And Iron Ore Companies Heading Lower?

Posted on 04 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Although the current proposal is not law and still has some work to be done before it is finalized, we are trying to put together a long-term plan for how to invest in this new world of lower carbon emissions. We are not of the school of thought that the E&P names will be impacted in the near future with emissions or carbon taxes but we do think that the utilities and certain commodity producers could see some significant upside in the years to come from this proposal.
Right now everyone will focus on solar, wind and other renewables but we think that the big growth in the pie will be in either natural gas or nuclear. We will have to wait until everything is finalized to see what the government is trying to incentivize utilities to trend towards, but the truth of the matter is that we have all been warned that change is on the way………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Silver price is ready for recovery

Posted on 03 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The silver price, which at £11.205 (US$18.76) is less than half of its high of $48 an ounce set in 2011, could be set for a rebound according to industry players. A research report out today from ETF Securities, a London-based investment firm focused on exchange-traded funds and commodities, argues that with industrial demand increasing, supply falling and inventories declining, the gold price stable and price volatility at a decade low, conditions are building for a silver price rally.
The report also cites the fact that in the first quarter of 2014 Chinese demand showed a 22% year-on-year increase in silver imports, the largest quarterly gain since the second quarter of 2010. In addition, demand from China was up 17% year-on-year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Here’s An Unexpected Jump in Base Metals Prices

Posted on 03 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There’s been increasing uncertainty in base metals markets lately. Zinc may be headed for under-supply as key mines globally shut down. Copper demand in China has been somewhat erratic of late. And data last week suggest that yet another metal may also be seeing some big changes.
Aluminum. Black China Blog reports that aluminum premiums in Japan have been surging of late. With buyers here being asked to pay premiums of up to $410 per tonne for the third quarter of the year. That’s a significant rise from the previous quarter. Representing a 9% increase………………………………………..Full Article: Source

4 Reasons Gold Miners Look Poised For A Summer Rally

Posted on 02 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

We’re all well aware of the bearish summer seasonality (June and July) for the precious metals sector. However, there are suddenly a few reasons to believe that this summer will break the mold of what investors have become accustomed to:
The sell-off came early this year with a 10%+ decline in Market Vectors Gold Miners (ARCA:GDX) between May 5th and May 28th. Moreover, the bullish divergence between the gold price and the senior producers became quite pronounced in recent days:……………………………………Full Article: Source

Why Precious Metals May Be On The Verge Of A Big Move

Posted on 02 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Precious metals experienced a wave of selling this past week as bullish investors shunned safe haven assets and bid U.S. equities to all-time highs. Expectations of stimulative action by the European Central Bank next week caused the U.S. dollar to rally against the euro, which also contributed to the precious metals selloff.
For the past year, gold and silver have remained within a trading range after plunging in the first half of 2013 in expectation of the tapering or gradual ending of the Fed’s QE3 program. Both metals appear to be forming a type of wedge pattern that could foreshadow a sharp “breakout” move in either direction when the next important catalyst eventually presents itself…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Iron ore swaps curve signals limit to price decline: Investec

Posted on 02 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The iron ore swaps forward curve moving into contango shows signs the recent price drop for physical cargoes may have reached its limit, suggested Investec Bank Friday.
The iron ore forward curve has long been in backwardation, with contracts for settlement farther out at a discount to nearby months and quarters. However, the sustained move into contango in the latter period of this month suggested the front of the curve has come under severe unsustainable pressure, Investec said…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Citigroup Really Dislikes Gold Miners, But If You Insist On Buying Them, Buy These

Posted on 30 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

To call Citigroup bearish on gold miners like Gold Fields (GFI) and Harmony Gold (HMY) would be like saying a New York Yankees fan dislikes the Mets: It goes beyond simple dislike. But if you’re going to insist on buying gold stocks, they recommend Goldcorp (GG), Barrick Gold (ABX) and Newmont Mining (NEM).
The past year’s developments have exposed the industry’s intrinsically bad fundamentals. Companies cannot change these, but can merely attempt to position themselves better than peers. We believe a shift from “short termness” to longer term value is needed. We have yet to see this happen………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Scotiabank positive on nickel - coal and uranium at rock bottom

Posted on 30 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

“Indonesia’s ban on the export of all unprocessed nickel-containing ores will turns today’s world supply & demand balance from ‘surplus’ to ‘deficit’ by early 2015,” says Scotiabank economist Patricia Mohr.
In the latest edition of the Scotiabank Commodity Price Index published Wednesday, Mohr observed that Chinese stainless steel producers’ inventories of Indonesian ore “will largely be depleted by year-end.” As a result, Chinese mills urgently boosted imports of FeNi (nickel & iron) by 70% during the first quarter of this year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nickel rally may not extend comfortably over rest of Q2

Posted on 30 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nickel market is bulish for the medium and long term with the metal expected to be on track for its first annual gain in three years. However, investors should be wary of getting too comfortable with the rally over the rest of second quarter, according to Kedia Commodity.
Nickel was the victim of continual supply surpluses, whcih should have pushed prices down to levels that prompted output cuts. However, with Nickel Pig Iron (NPI) supply from Indonesia now cut off and with the market having to replace former supply from Indonesia with stockpiled material, the downward trend in nickel is unlikely to resume, Kedia report said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US steel sheet market seen possibly entering new stable period

Posted on 30 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The US sheet steel market might be in for another stretch of relative stability, as new upcoming outages balance import pressure and drab demand, market sources said Thursday. One industry consultant said manufacturing — and thus steel consumption — should perk up a bit in the second half of the year, but “lower raw material prices, higher utilization, and higher imports may cap the upside at something less than $700/st,” he said.
“Probably the best outcome would be a ’steady-as-she-goes’ scenario, thus avoiding price volatility — and that seems to be the case today whether one talks about base metals (other than nickel), ferrous scrap prices, or even equities,” the consultant said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nickel, Palladium and Platinum Metals Outperforming in 2014

Posted on 29 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Platinum, Palladium and Nickel are outperforming the S&P 500 by a wide margin in 2014. The relative strength is fundamentally due to declining supply from key regions such as South Africa, Russia and Indonesia.
Growth for Platinum, Palladium and Nickel is very strong especially in growing economies in Asia which need catalytic converters and stainless steel. China has hardly any domestic PGM or nickel production. They must import. Focus on advanced PGM/Nickel development projects in stable jurisdictions in North America………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper’s wake-up call

Posted on 29 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper spreads on the London Metal Exchange (LME) tightened sharply last week as the market finally started reacting to the continued steady erosion of available stocks. The previous disconnect between dwindling stocks availability and a relatively loose market structure had caused much collective head-scratching in the market.
The conundrum looks as if it is now being resolved as front-month backwardation returns to levels historically associated with the current low level of stocks. A research note by Goldman Sachs, advising short position-holders to roll out of the front part of the curve, seems to have acted as a collective wake-up call………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US steel sheet prices continue to trade in narrow range: sources

Posted on 29 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

US steel sheet prices continued to trade in a narrow range Wednesday, though one market source reported a deal well below prevailing prices. Platts maintained its daily hot-rolled and cold-rolled coil assessments at $680-690/st and $810-820/st, respectively — both normalized to a Midwest (Indiana) mill ex-works basis.
One top-tier producer reported an HRC sale of more than 3,500 st in the southern US at $680/st, with an unspecified delivery date, and as a deal with another buyer for July shipment for just more than 400 st at the same price. Only the 400 st transaction was within Platts lot size specifications of up to 500 st………………………………………..Full Article: Source

In Australia, Mining Investment on a Swift Course Downward

Posted on 28 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

You know that feeling you get when the rollercoaster passes the crest of the hill and begins to accelerate downward, almost vertically? Welcome to the Australian economy — at least the investment component of it.
Australia is facing what has been dubbed a “capital expenditure cliff,” which essentially marks the moment when the gentle decline in mining investment over the past year gathers sudden, alarming speed. Data on first-quarter investment, due Thursday, is expected to show total business investment fell 1.5% from the fourth quarter, according to a survey of 15 economists by the Wall Street Journal………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities: Global recovery injects life back into mining stocks

Posted on 27 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Mining companies and most raw commodities are now seeing either sustained year-on-year gains in price, or have cut their losses after last year’s rout. Commodities were beginning to look like a graveyard for investors last year but the first half of 2014 has seen the sector recover some of its allure.
The broadening global economic recovery now spreading from North America through to the UK, Europe and into Asia is underpinning a revival in resources as an asset class even if the boom years of the last decade may never return………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Could Zinc Be The Next Base Metals Star?

Posted on 27 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A combination of Indonesian ore restrictions, and fears over possible trade sanctions on Russian miners, has seen nickel emerge as the base metals suite’s darling during 2014. The metal has advanced 40% since the turn of the year, breaching 27-month peaks above $21,000 per tonne in the process, and more strength looks on the agenda as these supply concerns rumble on.
But for many, a backcloth of declining supply levels is also expected to propel zinc prices skywards in the near future. Bank of America-Merrill Lynch expects the galvanising metal to breach $2,400 per tonne as soon as next year, a sizeable 15% improvement if realised and with many tipping further price growth further out………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Time To Turn Bullish On Copper Again?

Posted on 27 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper goes into backwardation indicating price strength. LME copper stock hits multi-year lows indicating tightening supply. China growth concerns are priced in.
The latest numbers on the forward curve for copper show something interesting. Copper went from contango steeply into backwardation again in just a month. This indicates price strength in copper………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Metals Could Be Set To Surprise

Posted on 26 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A commodity downtrend was broken at the beginning of the year, and a relief rally started. After three years in a downtrend and quite a disappointing performance (both nominally and relatively), commodities are now surprising investors on the upside.
However, it is almost impossible to correctly predict whether this is the start of a new bull market or just a dead cat rebound. After all, every bull market starts with a relief rally, which manifests into more and more participation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Four Key Factors To Drive The Aluminium Market‏

Posted on 23 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The aluminium price seems to have landed relatively safely after a long period of steep decline since the peak in early 2011. During the first half of 2014, the aluminium market has settled around a price range of USD1,700-1,900/MT.
With the aluminium price back on the ground, we take a look at the outlook for the aluminium market for the second half of the year. Overall, we see four critical themes driving the market in the near term:…………………………………….Full Article: Source

China’s aluminium, alumina imports show unexpected surge in April

Posted on 23 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s aluminium imports were unexpectedly high in April at 35,199 tonnes, with some market participants attributing the figure to financing demand for the light metal.
The imports were up 150.9% year-on-year, the latest customs data showed. “The shipments were more than expected, as high premiums for imports have choked demand,” a trader said. The April imports were 14.7% lower than the previous month but above market expectations. Premiums for imported aluminium ingots have stayed around $370 per tonne in the past few months, resulting in large losses for Chinese importers……………………………………..Full Article: Source

China Is Bringing Down Metals

Posted on 23 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Waning strength in the Chinese economy could weigh on both commodities and the metals sector over the next few quarters. China’s manufacturing sector contracted for a fourth consecutive month in April, according to the most recent HSBC/Markit purchasing managers’ index. The final reading of the PMI for April came in lower than forecast at 48.1 — a reading below 50 indicates contraction.
Both output and new orders contracted in April, and new export orders also fell back into contraction after a gain the previous month. “[The numbers] indicate that the manufacturing sector, and the broader economy as a whole, continues to lose momentum,” said Qu Hongbin, chief economist for China at HSBC……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper down on Chinese demand

Posted on 22 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Worries about weaker demand from China, the world’s top copper consumer, pushed copper futures to their lowest level in nearly two weeks. The most-actively traded contract, for July delivery, fell 2.2 cents, or 0.7 per cent, to settle at $US3.1230 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. This was the lowest settlement since copper futures closed at $US3.0830 on May 9.
Copper futures have been recovering in recent weeks, as some investors wagered that fears of an economic slowdown in China were overblown and that low inventories of the metal could send prices higher………………………………………Full Article: Source

Goldman Widens Iron Ore Surplus Forecast on Steel Output

Posted on 22 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The global seaborne iron ore glut will probably be 21 percent bigger than forecast next year as steel production slows in China, the world’s largest consumer, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
The surplus will reach 175 million metric tons in 2015, compared with a prior prediction of 145 million tons, Goldman Sachs said in a report dated yesterday. The bank estimates that output will exceed demand by 72 million tons and prices will average $109 a ton in 2014, before dropping to $80 next year………………………………………Full Article: Source

EU and China drive global steel output rise in April - Worldsteel

Posted on 22 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global crude steel output rose at its second-fastest level this year in April, responding to an uptick in demand in Europe and the Middle East, though higher output in China added to oversupply and kept prices depressed.
Output of the alloy rose by an annual 1.7 percent globally in the month to 137 million tonnes, with production in China rising 2.1 percent to 68.8 million tonnes, data from steel producers association Worldsteel showed………………………………………Full Article: Source

Nickel headed for surplus

Posted on 21 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nickel declined on speculation that current global supplies are adequate, while a measure of price volatility rose to a 23-month high. The market will be in surplus by 24,000 metric tons in 2014, according to OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, the world’s top producer of refined metal, and inventories tracked by the London Metal Exchange have climbed 6.7 percent this year.
The 60-day historical volatility rose to 30.2, the highest since June 2012, after prices yesterday jumped the most in 20 months. “Led by nickel, the metals complex has lost some outright steam as projections of overall surpluses return to the fore,” Michael Turek, a director at Newedge USA LLC in New York, said………………………………….Full Article: Source

Global demand for primary aluminium seen rising 7 pct in 2014 -Alcoa

Posted on 20 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global demand for primary aluminium is set to rise 7 percent in 2014 on the back of solid growth in China, a senior executive with Alcoa Inc said on Tuesday.
Timothy Reyes, president of Alcoa material management, told a conference that the company was expecting Chinese primary aluminium demand to rise 10 percent this year, based on China’s 7.5 percent economic growth target…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Iron-Ore Prices Sink, Driven by Market Worries

Posted on 20 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iron-ore prices sank to below US$100 per metric ton for the first time in nearly two years, driven down by market worries that demand from China is being outpaced by increasing output of the steelmaking raw material from international miners.
Australian exporters of iron ore—the cheapest in the world—still have headroom to export at current prices, but analysts say some companies may need to rethink planned expansions of mines if the price continues to slide…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Nickel and aluminium show signs of revival

Posted on 19 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

SMH reported that they’ve been the dregs at the bottom of the diversified miners’ bottle for years but nickel and aluminium are starting to show signs of life.
The two commodities have been bywords for poor performance over recent years, having dealt financial losses and multi billion dollar impairments on their hapless owners at the big end of the mining industry. But evolving attitudes in the developing world seem to be changing the rules of engagement in both industries, and tempting investors to think again. The nickel resurgence is more advanced and better understood…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Global commodities expert says platinum market could be changing

Posted on 16 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A global commodities expert says palladium prices look set to rise over the next two years, and platinum could start behaving more like gold and less like an industrial metal due to Chinese jewellery demand. Leon Westgate from Standard Bank, London was speaking at a recent seminar organised by online precious metals trader, GoldMoney.
Martyn White , Head of European Business Development, GoldMoney hosted the event which was aimed at giving potential investors and their intermediaries insight into what is driving the markets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Where Gold And Industrial Commodities Are Heading

Posted on 16 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Shorting gold when it rose to a record $1,895 per ounce on September 6, 2011 would have been a great trade, with the benefit of hindsight. It is down to $1,305 currently, with most of the decline occurring last year after the bulls lost their confidence in the precious metal when it didn’t soar after ECB President Mario Draghi’s whatever-it-takes speech and on the introduction of Abenomics.
A few contrarians I know are turning bullish on gold. They note that both the price of gold and the price of silver seem to be finding support at their 2013 lows. Silver is back at that low. However, it settled at its highest level in a month on Wednesday, buoyed by a report that said physical demand for the metal rose to a record last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why nickel prices have skyrocketed this year

Posted on 16 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nickel prices are typically not on U.S. investors’ radar, but they’ve certainty been gaining attention this year. Prices have skyrocketed year-to-date on the London Metal Exchange as concerns over tight global supplies grow.
Prices for the metal have gained roughly 50% so far this year on the LME — from a low $6-a-pound range to more than $9 a pound, outperforming other commodities and equities, according to Jeb Handwerger, a metals and mining analyst and investor………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman Sachs Still Bearish on Copper

Posted on 16 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Despite a recent recovery in copper prices on the London Metal Exchange and economic reforms pledged by China, the world’s largest copper consumer, market analysts were still bearish this week on the metal’s price for the rest of the year.
Goldman Sachs cited factors such as a surge in supply and a weak Chinese construction sector. Goldman Sachs forecasted copper prices would sink to $6,200/mt by the end of the year, compared with a price at $6,845/mt as of early Wednesday trading………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Precious Metals Investing: Gold, Silver, Platinum, and Palladium

Posted on 15 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The precious metals complex looks a little discombobulated lately, with each metal playing from a different page of sheet music. Gold, after hitting a six-month high of $1,391 mid-March, quickly lost over $100 in two weeks to below $1,280 by the start of April, and has been stuck in a sideways range since then.
Silver, after hitting a four-month high of $22.04 at the end of February, has been dropping ever since, losing more than 11% to its current $19.50………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Listen to Dr. Copper: Time to buy metals here

Posted on 15 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The markets may be sitting at near all-time highs, but they’re not the only asset class in town. You might not realize it, but the metals have been booming recently. Jonathan Hoenig of CapitalistPig hedge fund has been on this trade for months, and he still says there’s room for more upside.
In Hoenig’s mind there’s a number of reasons why the metals have been rallying recently, not the least of which is instability in Ukraine. But more broadly, the strength in stocks is helping base metals, Hoenig says, but what makes them a great diversified investment is that they are not totally correlated to stocks and precious metals like gold and silver………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Analysts bearish on copper price in 2014 on supply, China demand

Posted on 15 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Despite a recent recovery in London Metal Exchange copper prices, market analysts were still bearish this week on the metal’s price for the rest of this year, based on factors such as a surge in supply and a weak Chinese construction sector.
Analysts at Goldman Sachs forecast copper prices would sink to $6,200/mt by the end of the year, compared with a price at $6,845/mt as of early Wednesday trading………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities expected to falter as LNG steps into breach

Posted on 14 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iron ore prices are expected to drop sharply over the next two years and the price of commodity exports will keep falling until 2020. Treasury has published tables that suggest the price of iron ore, Australia’s largest export, which has already declined sharply this year, will keep falling to as low as $90 a tonne by June 2016, from about $120 now.
That is based not on the more widely quoted spot prices but on a measure that includes long-term contracts and exchange rate shifts. The weak outlook for commodity exports overall means the terms of trade – the ratio of import prices to export prices – will fall 6.75 per cent next year and 1.75 per cent in 2015-16………………………………………..Full Article: Source

When Aluminium Cost More Than Gold

Posted on 14 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Aluminium is literally one of the most common elements on Earth. So how did it come to be that aluminium once cost more than gold? Was it similar to how the relatively common and easily acquired mined diamond came to be seen as valuable in the last century due to strict control of supply to consumers and some of the best marketing the world has ever seen?
(For reference, the cost of mining a 1 carat diamond is about $US50, though it sells for drastically more than that, even low quality ones for industrial use. On the high end, suitably high quality ones will sell for, on average around $US25,000 once cut and polished, generally by cheap labour in places like China.)……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Next battle in Rare Earth Deposits: Space between China and ROW

Posted on 14 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Chinese are likely struggling with their rare earth assets due to decades of inefficient, wasteful processing and non-existent environmental standards. No one really knows the full extent of the damage done by China’s rare earth industry, and the shape these mines are in. Could it be that China will have to secure both a supply of heavy rare earths and a supply of light rare earths sooner than the rest of the world anticipates?
“As China begins to look elsewhere to secure new REE feedstock, perhaps the rest of the world should do the same, given the strategic importance of these metals to military and to industry. To that end, why not look to Quebec?“……………………………………….Full Article: Source

China’s daily steel output hits record high in April

Posted on 14 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s average daily crude steel output hit a record 2.29 million tonnes in April, as steel mills lifted production to meet seasonal demand, though signs of weakness in factory output and the property sector could feed through later in the year.
Steel demand in China, the world’s top producer, traditionally improves in the second quarter as construction and manufacturing pick up alongside warmer weather. April’s crude steel output of 68.84 million tonnes, was below the record high of 70.25 million tonnes in March, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper price hits two-month high

Posted on 13 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper prices jumped to the highest level in two months on Monday after China unveiled a blueprint for reforming its capital markets, a move that investors hope will spark economic growth in the world’s largest consumer of the metal.
Copper for May delivery rose 6.6c, or 2.1 per cent, to $US3.1665 a pound, the highest closing price since March 7 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the biggest percentage gain for the contract since December 4. The more actively traded July contract rose 2.2 per cent to $US3.1495 a pound………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nickel prices will peak above $30,000 in 2015 – Citi

Posted on 13 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nickel prices will peak above $30,000 per tonne in 2015, on increasingly strong fundamentals, Citi analysts said this week. The group expects the alloying metal will see rallies to more than $22,000 per tonne in 2014, and above $30,000 in 2015.
“We […] would view moves towards $18,500 per tonne as representing positive entry points ahead of further 2014 rallies to over $22,000 per tonne, and 2015 peaks of over $30,000,” the group said in a research note………………………………………..Full Article: Source

NIckel in London Rises to Two-Year High on Supply Concern

Posted on 12 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nickel extended gains to the highest price in two years on speculation that supplies of the metal used to make stainless steel will be tighter and prices will rise further in coming months.
The contract for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange added as much as 3.7 percent to $20,650 a metric ton, the highest since February 2012, and was at $20,641 by 11:00 a.m. in Tokyo. The price rose 9 percent last week, the most since February 2010………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron Ore Slumps to Lowest Since 2012 as Global Surplus Deepens

Posted on 09 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iron ore retreated to the lowest level since 2012, heading for a fourth weekly loss and nearing $100 a ton, as increased seaborne supplies of the steel-making raw material boosted a global glut.
Ore with 62 percent content delivered to the Chinese port of Tianjin fell 1.3 percent to $103.70 a dry ton yesterday, the lowest level since September 2012, according to data from The Steel Index Ltd. The commodity has lost 23 percent this year, extending a 7.4 percent loss in 2013………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nickel April’s Best-performing Commodity Thanks to Indonesia, Russia

Posted on 09 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nickel prices are on a tear. Since January 12, when the Indonesian government surprised nickel market participants by going through with its plan to ban unprocessed ore exports, the metal has risen precipitously.
In terms of just how precipitously, the numbers speak for themselves. Though the metal’s gains were modest at first, by mid-March, London Metal Exchange (LME) nickel for three-month delivery had reached an 11-month high of $16,230 per metric ton (MT). That positive performance continued in April, when nickel was the best-performing commodity; most recently, LME nickel for three-month delivery hit $18,250 per MT, as per the Financial Times………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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