OECD CLI’s, USA, Japan

Comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’.  

Matau’s Comments:

  • Most commodity markets are showing signs of increased tight (labour or raw materials) conditions.
    • Precious metals are under some pressure, though there are abundant geopolitical and other risks available. 
  • Gold price has been jittery, following USD variations.
  • A number of sound base metals projects are being advanced through toward production, as their respective markets continue to tighten.

SUMMARY  

*Copper  Evidence of constrained Cu supply is in spot Cu TC/RCs being at decade lows 

*Cobalt  EGC has been set up to buy all domestically (artisanal) produced Co in DRC, to improve standards.  

*Nickel  Indonesia is driving up its added value Ni processing capacity. 

*Zinc & *Lead  Zn & Pb TC/RCs.  Teck agrees to supply China’s largest Zn smelter with concentrate.  

Tin  South Korea is the main destination for Sn concentrates from Bangka-Belitung.      

Aluminium  Portland’s Al smelter (Vic) has won support from the Australian Federal Govt, till at least 2026.

*Gold  Gold Fields Australia is paying extra ‘allowances’ to retain its skilled workforce.  Demand is high!

Platinum & Palladium  WPIC reports Pt jewellery demand is expected to increase strongly in 2021.

*Oil  OPEC+ has agreed to gradually ease its oil output cuts from May.  Demand is increasing.

Coal  Aust. HCC is trading around China bans.  Thermal coal negotiations paused till supply stabilises.  

Iron Ore  Near term supply disruptions hit supply.  Longer term, prices are expected to stabilise lower.

Shipping  Asian freight rates eased this week, on lower global demand (for ships as Suez was unblocked). 

General 

OECD – Composite Leading Indicators:  .CLI’s all showed recovery from the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic is well under way.  Turning points suggest that improvements in GDP & IP should be in evidence about now.

Japan – Industrial Production:  An earthquake mid-month, & surge of Covid cases impacted IP.  An earthquake and a surge in covid-19 cases disrupted IP.

USA – Construction Spending:  Private & Residential was +ve.  Public & Non-Residential was -ve.

USA – PMI:  Most PMI segments report a strong +ve outlook.