Of particular note this week:

 Base metals – Exchange inventories- the wider story adds  more clarity to market conditions.

Cu, Zn, Ni:  perceptions (fears of Chinese slowdowns) ruled this week in terms of price movements, however China appears to be performing better than expected.  One report highlights that closures in northern China are almost offset by ramping up of southern operations seeking increased market share(s).    

Australia TWI:   trade with China and others (Asian mostly) increased.

SUMMARY    

Copper  Chinese Caixin lower than expected but positive.  Strikes in South America disrupt supply.

Nickel  Nickel price reduction attributed to lower Chinese steel output, (due to winter restrictions).

Zinc & Lead  Price moved by perceptions and concerns but supported by fundamentals (stock levels).

Tin  Lack of investment in new capacity will squeezing supply.

Aluminium  Japanese premium for Al offered, Jan-Mar 18, up markedly above current quarter.

Gold  Gold’s trading activity has been unusually calm this year, frustrating the bulls.

Platinum & Palladium  WPIC says supply continues to tighten, & demand forecast more resilient than generally forecast.

Oil  Venezuela proposes retaliation against USA, its biggest cash-paying customer !

Coal  LVPCI price further accepted.  HCC contract price anticipated settlement next week.

Iron Ore  Iron ore prices nudging USD 70/t CFR, though the bear(s) argue for much lower outlook.

Shipping  Baltic indices markedly stronger this week, with coal, iron ore and grains demand.

General 

Australia TWI reset:  trade increased with China, & six other (mostly) Asian countries.

Base Metals – Exchange inventories:  Most markets are tightening.  Some surprising movement.

USA – PMI:  Strong outlook.

USA Construction Spending:

Japan Industrial Production:  good positive growth.