China

Comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’. 

Matau’s Comments:  

  • Base metal inventories remain tight, though some prices are just starting to reflect fundamental positions.   Pinchpoint positions are mostly less than 1 week’s consumption.   Copper market again appears fundamentally tight. 
  • Trade & geopolitical tensions abound!  Uncertainties generated by geopolitical activities continue to hinder normal trading conditions.  Repeated claims that ‘progress is being made’ have not (yet) borne fruit. 
  • Oil market tightness is reflected in price and prodded by the Russian contamination event. 

 SUMMARY  

*Copper  Zambia’s outlook for production reduced.  Also reduced for Chile, & Peru.  Momentary surplus.

*Cobalt  Glencore & FXC in Co refinery transactions.  COB planning large scale met test work programs.

Nickel  Prices firm on anticipation of trade deal, though ‘not out of the woods yet’.

Zinc & Lead  NZC adding more water cannons with expanded production targets.

*Tin  Malaysia contemplating restarting its tin industry.

*Aluminium  Trump relaxation on tariffs to Canada and Mexico is of modest relief (only).

Gold  Indian gold prices moved into premiums on firm domestic demand.  Chinese demand up intra-wk.

Platinum & Palladium  Zimbabwe awarded exploration concession to Nigerian (billionaire) company.

*Oil  Contamination of Russian oil pipeline flows not yet resolved … maybe second half of May.

Coal  QRC warns Qld govt on royalty hike-plans.  USA met-coal exports hindered by tariff uncertainties.

Iron Ore  Tangshan in Hebei province to remove meaningful steel capacity this year.

Shipping  Shipping rates down slightly this week, partly due to Indonesian holiday.

General 

Coal Exports – Australia:  export growth is slower for met coal.  Energy demand growth goes on.

*China – Industry & Energy Output:  Excavators strong.  Otherwise good though varied growth.

*USA – Durable Goods, Vehicles, Electronic goods orders:  reduced growth.