Comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’.  

Matau’s Comments:  

  • Industrial output data for USA, Germany & UK has been declining for a while prior to the advent of the coronavirus COVID-19.  While China appears to be emerging from the worst of its epidemic, Europe, North America and the rest of Asia are just accelerating their reported infection case numbers at present.  Countries that have learned from prior epidemics (e.g. Taiwan) appear to be relatively lightly affected. Some that have taken swift, strong measures may weather the epidemic well.  Others that are not as well prepared (potentially USA) will face torrid times in the next few weeks.  

SUMMARY   

*Copper  China is recovering from coronavirus.  Rest-of-world going downhill.  Cu tends to front-run markets – watch it.

Cobalt  Measures to end the cycle of unethical exploitation of artisanal miners.  Progress is varied. 

*Nickel  Global nickel production to drop significantly over 2020. Philippines to displace Indonesia.

Zinc & Lead  Pb’s TC/RCs to rise.  AZI to halt drilling at Gorno project (northern Italy) upon govt’s coronavirus decree. 

Tin  Tin prices may see a recovery, later this year.       

Aluminium  Trump, Brazil & Argentina. 

*Gold  A funny thing happened on the way to the expected gold rally, it got creamed.  

Platinum & Palladium  Technology developed to substitute Pt for Pd in gasoline car auto catalysts.

*Oil  USA producers are slashing budgets for new operations for 2020.  

*Coal  Coking coal demand is facing more uncertainty as the global economy is impacted by COVID-19.  

*Iron Ore  Fewer new COVID-19 cases, and China is easing restrictions on movement of people & business.  

Shipping  Freight rates reduced as bunker fuel prices dipped significantly, though demand is stable.  

General  

*Japan – LNG prices:  Collapse of contract price in line with collapsed oil markets.  

USA Bond Yields:  remain at new low levels set last week. 

*USA – Electricity End Use:  Industrial demand growth slowed from January 2019. 

Baker Hughes – USA Rig counts:  Unchanged but with the low oil price expect reductions.

Germany – Industrial production:  Durables +ve though other segments poorer.

United Kingdom – Industrial Production:  Manufacturing -ve.  Brexit under way COVID-19 ahead.