SUMMARY

Economics:
USA Orders:
– to Durable Goods were flat yr-on-yr;
– to Vehicles were up;
– to Computers & Electronics reflected low growth.
Japan’s Orders:
– to (Total) Machinery were up strongly,
– to Industrial Machinery were down a little yr-on-yr;
– to Electronic & Communications were up strongly;
– to Vehicles were well up;
– to Bearings were well up; and
– to Wires & Cables were well up yr-on-yr.
Port of Singapore:
– Container Traffic: growth is consistent with 12 mo average.
– Bulk Carrier Traffic: down yr-on-yr for February.
– Tanker Traffic: consistent with 12 mo average rates.

Commodities:
Copper Copper prices up on expectation of controlled Chinese economic growth. China has committed to maintain growth “at a reasonable pace”.

Nickel Indonesian ban on nickel ore exports is not yet showing effect, due to shipments in progress. Though when the stockpiles of ore are exhausted the outcomes are not certain.

Zinc & Lead Zinc: supply-driven tightening is under way. Chinese Zn production is slowing.

Tin Appetite for electronic gadgets drives tin demand.

Aluminium Indonesian ban on ore exports might have only a muted impact on bauxite. When bauxite stockpiles exhaust, China may turn to the oversupplied alumina market, thus muting the impact of a tighter bauxite market.

Gold Higher US interest rates and reduced international tension reduces interest in gold investment.

Platinum & Palladium South African platinum strike is beginning to impact the economy. Elections are looming.

Oil Prices up on promising US data. Some risks to supply (Ukraine/Crimea) have not disappeared.

Coal Settlements finally achieved for hard coking coal (Mar Qtr) and thermal coal (JFY14/15). Bad weather does not appear to have caused too much disruptions at Qld ports.

Iron Ore Spot CFR prices are improving. Chinese buyers now increasing interest. China’s steel output rates good and steady.

Shipping Baltic shipping Indices reduced toward the end of week but freight rate improvements reported.