Of particular interest this week:

Copper- IMF growth forecasts

Zinc – PHX thick intercepts

Palladium:  Sale to Norilsk – funds to Russia

SUMMARY

Copper  – IMF revised its global growth forecasts downward.

Nickel  – China’s Ni imports down in December.  Global surplus narrows.

Zinc & Lead  – PHX reported thick high-grade Zn intercepts.  Paroo Station back on care & maintenance.

Tin  – US tin plant to be idled.

Aluminium  – Smelter sector inside China is ill-disciplined.  Beijing increasing scrutiny.

Gold  – Turkey is the world’s fourth largest consumer of gold.

Platinum & Palladium  – Palladium sale from the Russian Govt to Norilsk to provide Russia with (needed) funds.

Oil  – Change of the regal guard in Saudi Arabia does not change their position.

Coal  – Thermal coal producers hopeful on approach to JFY price negotiations.

Iron Ore  – Brazil’s iron ore exports surged in December.

Shipping  Cape-size freight rates  jumped mid-week on iron ore orders.  Panamax softened.

General

World Steel:  production growth limited to few countries this month, notably China is +ve.

USA:      New Housing Starts – continued growth on trend.

Industrial Production – continued stable growth.

Japan:   Orders to Machinery – positive growth, except orders to Industrial Machinery.

nb: new tables of Interest Rates & other Asian foreign exchange data