Steel

Comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’. 

Matau’s Comments:  

  • Trade wars:  the key protagonists may both lose and other bystanders gain.  It seems like they may now recognise this aspect, hence the preparedness to re-open talks between China & USA, and also between USA & Iran (still some time away).  However we believe that there are still certain egos that remain to be blunted.
  • Base metal inventories remain tight.  Most prices are in the ‘nose of pinch-point graphs.  Pinchpoint positions are mostly less than 1 week’s consumption.  More media commentary is recognising this condition.   However sentiment (with significant geopolitical) continues to drive prices over fundamentals.
  • World Steel – growth appears to be improving among emerging economies.  Note the views of India360 Steel on global outlook.

 SUMMARY  

*Copper  China seeking Cu scrap. Chuquicamata back up after strike.  Cu mkt in deficit.  ORN’s BFS good.

Cobalt  JRV completed merger with M2.  Evaluating KatangaCu-belt-style mineralisation in Uganda.

Nickel  POS records very good intercepts for its planned restart of producer Silver Swan.

Zinc & Lead  Zn:  good progress for VXR, NCZ, ORN & WRM.  Pb:  Nystar extends Pt Pirie outage to mid-July.

Tin  Sn end-uses.

Aluminium  China issues quotas for imports of scrap aluminium.  Importers say the quotas are too tight.

*Gold  Major inflow into ‘GLD’ ETF.  What are the major ‘passive’ funds doing?.

Platinum & Palladium  Dilemma for producers:  profits up and starting labour negotiations with AMCU.

*Oil  It could take six months or longer before the USA and Iran begin negotiations.

Coal  Chinese liquidity slowed, as prices fell on renewed concerns over import restrictions.

Iron Ore  Prices up on tight supply and despite China’s air pollution production cuts.

Shipping  Shipping rates firmed on demand from non-coal bulks for Capes, and Agri products for Panamax.

General 

*Singapore Port traffic:  Bulks and containers slowed, though tankers surged.

**World Steel production:  growth outlook for emerging economies increases as bigger ones slow.

*USA – durable goods, vehicles, electronic goods et al:

Japan – industrial production:  travelling very slowly.