Of particular note this week:

 EV Metals: Glencore’s outlook is positive, even on conservative assumptions.

USA – Industrial Production growing well

Japan – good orders to Machinery.

Base metals (Cu, Zn, Ni) – generally facing shortages in 2018.

Gold :  Outlook has headwinds.  However forecasting gold price has always been fraught with error.  Focus instead on investment in sound (Au) projects, companies and management.

 SUMMARY  

Copper  2018 copper faces labour negotiations for a significant portion of output.

Nickel  MCR to resume Ni exploration and plan production.  Ni deficit widens.

Zinc & Lead  Glencore to restart Lady Loretta.  Expectations that use of Pb will plummet are premature.

Tin  Malaysia Smelting Corp losing key management.

Aluminium  Global Al market health will be reliant on China’s policy and ‘actua’l performance.

Gold  Outlook for Au has headwinds.   Bitcoin described by RBA as “speculative mania”.

Platinum & Palladium  Sibanye-Stillwaterto acquire troubled Lonmin.  Closing old operations.  Potential for unrest?

Oil  Prices grappling with opposing factors, though are holding up, but a ?surplus ahead.

Coal  SSCC settlements achieved for Dec17Qtr.

Iron Ore  Prices up on surge in demand for high quality materials.

Shipping  Cape & Panamax rates up, but Supramax down.

General 

Metals needed by Electric Vehicles:  strong demand: Cu, Ni, Co, on conservative assumptions.

Cobalt  Price spiked and dipping slightly as inventory drops a little.

Pinch Point (base metal) price updates – generally still tightening.

USA – Industrial Production & Capacity Utilisation:  IP continues growth.

Japan – LNG prices:  increasing following increased oil prices.

Japan – Orders to Machinery:  widely positive growth.