Yields – USA

Comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’. 

Matau’s Comments:  

  • USA Yield curves are an odd shape in the current form, with a huge sag in the middle.  A review of current and pre-GFC curves shows some differences.  Some commentators consider the current duration has not been long enough.  Others comment on the ‘shape’ of the curves.  Opinions are invited.
  • Base metal inventories continue to remain tight.  Most prices are in the ‘nose of pinch-point graphs.  Pinchpoint positions are mostly less than 1 week’s consumption.  More media commentary is recognising this condition.  However sentiment (geopolitical) continues to drive prices over fundamentals.
  • The USA Fed met last week and cut rates a bit.  Trump took umbrage and announced further “taxes” (tariffs) on Chinese imports.  The markets took this hard, as a further level of uncertainty and volatility, and parts of the market appear to have capitulated.  Base metals’ contangos is one example.

SUMMARY  

*Copper  The size of the world copper market has been progressively underestimated.

*Cobalt  Indian JV Co formed to seek sources of Li, Co, et al.  Volvo cars with recycled Co produced.

*Nickel  BHP Group plans to start production of nickel sulphate in the Jun20Qtr.

Zinc & Lead  ZMI’s Kildare Zn project.  Pb supply improving (for now).

Tin  China switched to being a net exporter of refined tin last year.

*Aluminium:  quote: “Trump’s trade war with China is backfiring and impacting the US economy”.

Gold  Central Banks adding to holdings. Trump vows more tariffs on China. Global uncertainty increases.

Platinum & Palladium  WPIC upbeat on surge in Pt EFT holdings.

*Oil  USA share of growth is strong, with light crude;  heavier Iranian and Venezuelan output is down..

Coal  China again planning to limit imports, after a strong start to the year.

Iron Ore  China prices fell as Brazilian exports picked up, on Vale restarts.

Shipping  Freight rates slowed from a peak earlier in July.

General 

*USA – Yield Curves:  an examination of the current and an earlier period.  A signal not a cause.

USA – PMI:  Still positive, though still slower outlook.

*USA – Construction Spending:  -ve growth for Total and Private & Residential spends.

Japan – Industrial Production:  slow down for IP and several segments.