Of particular interest this week:

Australian Exploration Expenditure:  Has not ‘recovered’ yet, though the loom of the light is on the horizon.

OECD Composite Leading Indicators:  Actually the outlook is generally good in the key growth economies, and some others.

Nickel:  Chinese NPI smelters to close.

SUMMARY

Copper  USA labour, non-farm payrolls improved, but participation is low.

Nickel  Several Chinese NPI smelters closed under a new environmental law.  Supply will tighten.

Zinc & Lead  A record shortage of zinc is looming.  Global lead market is closely balanced.

Tin  Indonesian tin producers still ‘talking’ about restricting supply.

Aluminium  USA auto-industry moving toward higher levels of aluminium parts in SUV’s, for fuel economy.

Gold  Gold recycling – not as simple as it sounds.

Platinum & Palladium  Demand growth improving, but 2-2.5 yrs before stockpiles are depleted.

Oil  US gasoline prices rising due to refinery shutdowns, despite falling oil prices.

Coal  North Korean shipments refused entry into China, having failed environmental element tests.

Iron Ore  Falling iron ore prices pushing small producers’ operations to the brink of closure.

Shipping  Capesize rates down, Panamax improved.

General

Australian Exploration Expenditure (Dec 2014 Qtr) – starting to improve.

USA – PMI, Construction Spending (Jan) – positive growth, but cautious about private confidence.

Japan – Industrial Production (Jan) – needs just a bit more.

OECD – Composite Leading Indicators (Dec) – the outlook is generally looking good.