This week’s comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’.

Australian mineral exploration spending has rebounded strongly.  Petroleum exploration spending has picked up from lows in the December and March quarters.  Confidence is returning to the Resources sector.

Base metal inventories continue to reduce, and to tighten respective markets, with these data approaching the critical areas of pinchpoint graphs.  

SUMMARY  

*Copper  Chinese new rules on scrap, seeking higher purity, leaves a glut of inventory in USA.

*Cobalt  DRC classifies Co as a strategic mineral.  Royalties tripled!   COB drilling at Thackaringa.  Pb mkts.

Nickel  Vale striving to turn around New Caledonian operations and target EV mkts.  Indonesian risks?

Zinc & Lead  New Zn-Br batteries.  Expansion to Zn smelter in Townsville.  IBG/Glencore exploration in NSW.

Tin  Tin tight in Europe on shortage of Indonesian supply.  Not so for USA & China.

Aluminium  RIO re-opening NZ (Tiwai Pt) potline.

Gold  Price response to USA jobs data, and weaker USD.

*Platinum & Palladium  Major suppliers, South Africa & Russia getting together w.r.t. Pt & Pd production and markets.

*Oil  Prices surged upon OPEC & Russia agreement to cut output.  … but outlook for demand to soften.

*Coal  HCC market defying headwinds.  Outlook for Dec18Qtr benchmark settlement appears strong.

Iron Ore  New high grade contract offered.  Still uncertainty re- China’s port import restrictions.

Shipping  Panamax rates rebounded.  Cape rates reduced.

General 

*Australia – Mineral & Energy Exploration Spending:  Stronger minerals growth than petroleum.

*Pinch-point graphs:  base metal inventory reductions continue to tighten markets inexorably.

*USA – PMI:  continues to indicate a strong outlook.

*USA – Construction Spending:  Spending growth tempered compared to past several years.