China-Industry, WorldSteel, Germany, UK 

Comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’.  

Matau’s Comments:

  • USA Power transition is expected to occur with minimal protocol.  Concerns remain about potential Trump-collateral damage that may be inflicted pre-20 January, and post-handover politics. 
    • USA still needs to make sure the ‘lame-duck’ does not cripple something else.
  • Covid-19 infection numbers (and deaths) continue to grow in USA, Europe, India and South America.
    • Notable that Vietnam, New Zealand and Australia achieved such low total infections / deaths and current infection rates without the benefit of a vaccine, just simple health practises.
  • Industrially China (and parts of Asia) are recovering, while recovery in the rest of the world is a struggle.
    • China’s industry and energy output has broadly positive growth (in this report).
      • Transport conditions: freight and passengers are recovering.
    • China’s demand for steel and copper continues to surge. 
  • Global steel output continues to grow, dominated by Chinese growth, though with notable contributions from a number of emerging economies.
  • Gold price outlook remains replete with potential catalysts.   Goldman Sachs retains its bullish outlook.  Though price is not listening to the uber-bullish rhetoric in the face of potential improving global industry and markets.
  • Base metals’ prices again lifted markedly upon reducing exchange stocks and expectations of improving outlook via stimuli.
    • However it is unlikely that Covid-19 influence has finished yet, variably impacting both demand and supply.
    • But look at the pinch-point graphs with base metals’ responses to looming demand and fundamentally tight markets !!!
  • Oil market is watching the looming OPEC+ meeting for 30Nov-01Dec.  
  • Coal markets continue to have sub-optimal trade patterns due to China’s (unofficial) restrictions on Australian exports.  

SUMMARY  

*Copper  Spot TC’s at 8 yr lows.  Concentrate markets are tightening.  Price is responding.

Cobalt  Cu & Co are used in almost every Li-ion rechargeable device.   

*Nickel  NIC signed to acquire interest in Angel Ni project (Indonesia).

*Zinc & Lead  RVR renewed Zn-Pb conc off-take agreements.  

Tin  China Yunnan Tin opened new upgraded smelting capacity (to replace older units).     

Aluminium  China’s strong Al imports continue.  Standards for scrap increased.

*Gold  Gold price plunged while copper price soared. 

*Platinum & Palladium  Zimbabwe:  An important economic basket case.

*Oil  Focus on OPEC+ 30Nov – 01Dec meeting.  Venezuela shipping oil despite US sanctions.

Coal  China relaxed some coal import restrictions for northern power generators. 

*Iron Ore  China’s inventories of iron ore imports are at approximately 5 days. 

Shipping  Freight rates rebounded this week.  Australian traffic to China still impeded.

General 

*World Steel:  Significant number of countries’ output is back to pre-Covid levels.

*China – Industrial & Energy Output:  Remarkable positive growth, except for wine & beer

*China – Transport:  Freight has recovered well above Covid lows, as has passenger traffic. 

*Germany – Industrial Production:  Durable goods & construction have +ve growth.

*United Kingdom – Industrial Production:  IP and manufacture -ve growth but recovering (slowly)