SUMMARY

Copper – Delays to development may reduce a forecast surplus (2014 and 2015) to perhaps a balance or a deficit.  The current atmosphere of cautious spending to either make cash available for dividends, or due to uncertain ability to raise further equity in current conditions, has ratcheted back many spending plans.

Nickel  – Higher nickel prices are increasing cost of production of NPI.  Stockpiles held in China are still to run down.

Zinc & Lead – Chinese zinc production growth may narrow the forecast 2014 deficit.  KBL’s lead deposit in the Bonaparte Basin in NE WA has environmental approval to proceed.

Tin  – Tin in solder and in tin plate are key end-uses.  Indonesia’s ban on ore exports will be sustained.

Aluminium – Australian aluminium industry is seeking exemption from RET targets, to redress a changing landscape.  .

Gold  – Prices improved on softer stance by the Fed, though investment appeal is also softer.

Platinum & Palladium – NUM is winning membership numbers at South African platinum projects.

Oil – Oil prices expected to soften on US exports (previously exports from USA were illegal).  Russia threat to European gas supply.

Coal – Mid–grade met coal prices impacted by thermal prices.  Indonesian rain impacting thermal supply.

Iron Ore – Chinese imports of iron ore up 20.8% in March.  Australian exports up 35%.

Shipping – Chinese shipping companies solvency is under increased scrutiny, and with less sympathy from corporate parents.

General

–       BP Energy Outlook to 2035 – strongest growth outlook is for coal and renewables.

–       Short Run Outlook for Apparent Use of Steel – positive growth is forecast for emerging economies.   Minimal growth is forecast for developed economies.

–       China Transport data shows normal seasonal (February) patterns, i.e.  a slowdown for the New Year festive season.  The rail freight slowdown appears to be offset by a passenger spike.

–       German Industrial Production showing healthy growth.   Durable goods orders’ growth is a little soft though orders to Industry are strong.