JAPAN

SUMMARY  

*Copper  USA & China ended trade talks with no major breakthrough.

*Cobalt  Delays in rollout of 811 NCM batteries.  Expected some years away for major adoption.

Nickel  Nickel market in deficit during Jan-Jun 18, and for all of 2017.

Zinc & Lead  Global Zn concentrate inventories have been at low levels since early 2017.  Pb market is in deficit.

Tin  LME will require DRC produced copper to be audited to prove it is ethically sourced.

Aluminium  In USA old Al smelters are being restarted.  In Russia they are being closed.  China is unaffected.

Gold  Price holding above psychological USD 12,000/oz level after Fed Chairman’s remarks.

Platinum & Palladium  Platinum industry marketing into jewellery markets, with some success.

*Oil  Oil prices up on Iran sanctions taking effect and concerns about USA-China trade wars.

Coal  Met-coal usually deals with cyclones & tight supply/demand.  Trade wars add more uncertainty.

Iron Ore  Singapore Exchange is adding a high-grade iron ore contract to its markets.   BCI, MIN, BCK

Shipping  Cape & Panamax rates up on demand.  Bad weather has tightened availability of ships.

General 

*Japan – Orders to Machinery.  Japan’s industry is showing a recovery from post GFC events.

Pinch Point updates:  Inventories continue edging downward.  Contangos tighten. Prices up.

USA New Housing Starts:  Down slightly in July but improved on June.

USA Durable Goods, Vehicles, Electronics:  positive growth.