Of particular interest this week:

Shipping: – The first freight train to travel the old Silk Road arrived in Tehran in mid-February

Nickel – Philippines

China – efforts to reduce oversupply of coal and iron or  

SUMMARY

Copper  Glencore has stopped its copper operations in Zambia. 

Nickel  Philippines steps up campaign against irresponsible miners.  6x mines suspended.  

Zinc & Lead  Zn deficits forecast for this and next year.  Open interest is high.  Pb-acid batteries need to step up.

Tin  PT Timah turns to its subsidiaries (including hospitals) for profits compared to core (Sn) business. 

Aluminium  Global refining cuts needed to strengthen alumina prices. 

Gold  Au price drivers this week:  US jobs, UK interest rates, Japan stimulus.  

Platinum & Palladium  Lonmin concerned about several potential disruption factors that may impact production. 

Oil  Russia recently sold more oil to China than the Saudis, and could continue. 

Coal  Met coal tight.  China concerned about slow progress in reductions to over-capacity.  + Hay Point*

Iron Ore  China focussing on retiring idle and obsolete manufacturing capacity.  + Pt Hedland shipping.

Shipping  The first freight train to travel the old Silk Road arrived in Tehran in mid-February. 

General

USA – Purchasing Managers’ Index – on balance things are improving.

Baker Hughes rig-counts:  increases based on oil price changes two months old.