Of particular note this week:

Updated pinch point graphs for Zn, Cu & Ni.
Australia – Exploration spending:  Recovered to 2013 levels.

Base metals: prices down despite weak USD.

Oil – do not expect OPEC decisions until March 18.

Coal – Nippon agrees to Sept17 Qtr price with RIO.  But more complex than normal.

Steel – Chinas’ steel market sentiment expected to be strong in the Dec17HY. 

SUMMARY  

Copper  Chinese import volumes flat for the fourth month.  Global supply disruptions continue.

Nickel  Water-salt solution may make for safer Li-(Ni)-ion batteries.

Zinc & Lead  Sunmetals Zn smelter involved in change of electricity pricing from 30mins to 5 mins.

Tin  Tin market prices continue to lag other metals. .

Aluminium  Australian heavy industry bracing for power shortages this summer.  Check ‘Pocket NEM’.

Gold  WA increased gold royalty, to take effect January 2018.

Platinum & Palladium  Platinum demand firmer than media reports.

Oil  Do not expect OPEC to consider extending global production restrictions, until March.  Rig Counts.

Coal  Nippon Steel agrees HCC prices with RIO.  Glencore askes for more!

Iron Ore  China’s steel market sentiment expected to remain strong through the DecHY.

Shipping  Cape rates eased back.  Panamax rates inched up..

General 

Australia Exploration Spending:  June Qtr exploration back up to 2013 levels.

Pinch Point updates – Cu, Zn- Ni:

USA PMI:  very positive

USA Construction Spending:  private spending outweighs shrinkage of public spending.

Germany – Industrial Production, Durable Goods, Construction: