Comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’. 

Matau’s Comments:  

  • The Bond yield curves that inverted two weeks ago week have now (in USA at least), see a further fractional return toward ‘normal’ 10yr-3mo differential).  Past performance indicates the inversion is usually effective and in place for months, ahead of a recession.  No immediate panic, but a watch must be maintained.
  • Base metal inventories remain tight, though prices are just starting to reflect those fundamental positions, notably for Ni and Zn.   Uncertainties generated by geopolitical activities continue to hinder normal trading conditions.  
  • Gold price is as always, not a predictable item, even though gold is being sought by Central Banks, and geopolitical risks continue to feature on the watch list.

 SUMMARY  

Copper  Peruvian blockade at Las Bambas may be lifted.

Cobalt  COB reported significant Resource upgrade at Thackaringa.

*Nickel  +ve China data.  Indonesia plans production of battery grade nickel sulphate.

Zinc & Lead  Korea Zinc & Teck agreed on annual Zn concentrate treatment charges.

Tin  no comments.

Aluminium  Norsk Hydro production almost back to normal after cyber attack.

Gold  Gold making small gains/losses.  Bexit vs bond yields.  FX movements likely the largest effects.

Platinum & Palladium  Palladium price falling & platinum increasing likely expecting Pt substitution in auto-catalysts..

*Oil  A LNG contract price based on coal index.  Geopolitical risk continued to roil markets.

Coal  LVPCI Jun19Qtr price set.  Thermal coal markets facing high stocks and China’s import restrictions.

Iron Ore  Iron ore prices up on supply uncertainty from Brazil (dams) and Australia (cyclones).

Shipping  Cape rates up a little, and Panamax down this week.

General 

*Port Hedland – Iron ore exports:  Cyclone Veronica reduced March exports.  Wallace is forecast to pass by.

*USA – PMI:  outlook has been tempered from recent highs, though remains strong.

*Japan – Industrial Production:  slower again.