World Steel Surged
Comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’.
- Word steel production surged in April. 12mo growth noted in USA, Turkey and Iran, and Asian countries in particular.
- 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.
- Trade & geopolitical tensions still abound! Trump’s proposed tariffs on Mexico surprised many, as it is a key trade partner with which USA had recently signed a trade agreement. [China has signed no such agreement, yet has a similar level of tariffs imposed on it. … why sign?] Uncertainties generated by geopolitical activities continue to hinder normal trading conditions.
Copper “Fundamentals are OK”, but fears of undermining by tariffs depresses prices.
Cobalt COB & Mitsubishi Corp – offtake agreement for sulphur from Thackaringa.
Nickel Long term aims remain to reduce Co in batteries and promote NCM811. Lots more Ni is needed.
Zinc & Lead SPQ & S32 – Nicholson project in Qld.
Tin AfriTin Mining commissioning its Uis project in Namibia.
Aluminium China reducing taxes on Al output, to support a cooling economy. Trump eased a bit on Huawei !
Gold Price increased on Trump’s proposed tariffs on Mexican products. Premiums up in India & China.
Platinum & Palladium Zimbabwe reportedly thinking of scrapping its equity ownership law, to attract more foreign capital..
Oil USA refiners may suffer from Trump’s 5% tax on Mexican product.
Coal China’s offtake increased. Recent expansion plans by majors may cap / moderate price increases.
Iron Ore Slow slide of a Vale mine embankment likely to not cause dam failure.
Shipping Panamax & Cape rates remain firm (on iron ore demand).
World Steel: production surged in April
Japan – Industrial Production: modest negative growth for April.