Tag: copper

Commodity Review 20191011 by Andrew Pedler – Now Available

Commodity Review 20191011 by Andrew Pedler – Now Available

Lithium

Comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’. 

Matau’s Comments:  

  • Lithium:  South American miners are struggling to put downstream added value projects into place. 
  • The USA – China tariff talks & trade wars The recent “phase 1” agreement details have yet to see the light of day.   
  • Base metal inventories continue to remain tight.  Low base metal inventories are beginning to get more attention in the media than previously. 

SUMMARY  

*Copper  Strikes in Peru to affect output.  RIO exploring (JV) in China.

Cobalt  GEM Co agreement with Glencore for provision of cobalt hydroxide.  Supply is ‘precarious’.

*Nickel  Ni market is concerned about potential future supply shortfalls.

Zinc & Lead  ZMI hits high grade Zn.  NCZ achieves stable Zn operation.  EPA lead pipe rules changed.

*Tin  Chinese refined Sn output down on reduced feedstock supply.  Conflict minerals’ compliance.

Aluminium  A gap between alumina prices in China and in rest-of-world. Alunorte returns to production.

Gold  High gold price dampens Indian buying ahead of Diwali festival.  The world is nervous.

Platinum & Palladium  Merger agreed for Implats to acquire North American Platinum.

Oil  Attacks on Iranian tanker escalates issues.  USA to send troops to Saudi Arabia.

Coal  Aust coking coal exports increased.  Chinese buyers acting ahead of expected port restrictions.

Iron Ore  China’s Tangshan city extended steel production restrictions, that may favour lump iron ore.

Shipping  New fuel regulations making freight rates more volatile.

General 

*Lithium:  supply chain issues for South American countries.

Port Hedland Iron Ore:  China extended restrictions on steel mills that may favour lump ore..

*PinchPoint Graphs:  tightening further and beginning to get price responses.

*Japan – LNG prices:  Higher oil prices and ship-fuel costs could boost LNG prices further.

Commodity Review 20191011 by Andrew Pedler – Now Available

Commodity Review 20191004 by Andrew Pedler – Now Available

Comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’. 

Matau’s Comments:  

  • OPEC+ participants are girding their loins for potentially more production cut commitments.
  • The USA – China tariff talks & trade wars continue to stunt trade oriented decisions.  Some unexpected consequences (see tin).
  • Base metal inventories continue to remain tight.  In a broad sense not much has changed.  Base metal prices are struggling to cope with the negative fears driven largely by the USA-China trade tensions.  Low base metal inventories are getting more attention in the media than previously. 

 SUMMARY  

*Copper  Trade wars continue to deter activity.  Outlook for future supply remains tight.

Cobalt  Co inventory from the previously failed Fanya Metal Exchange to be auctioned on Oct 5th.

*Nickel  Ni prices responding to low refined Ni stocks and looming ban on ore exports.

*Zinc & Lead  Northern Canadian infrastructure proposed to deliver remote new mine production.   IBG Citronen.

*Tin  A bad vegetable harvest stings tariff affected USA steel makers.

Aluminium  Vietnam imposes anti-dumping tariffs on Chinee products.

*Gold  “Global policy uncertainty is at an all-time high”.

Platinum & Palladium  Pd prices have run to record highs, on demand growth and supply deficit.

*Oil  Nigeria prepared to make cuts to meet its OPEC+ commitments.

Coal  Chinese buying of low price met coal imports continues.

*Iron Ore  India to auction mining leases.  May disrupt local supply and require imports to balance demand.

Shipping  Cape & Panamax rates reduced this week, on easier grain & iron ore demand.

General 

*Port of Singapore Shipping Traffic:  Bulk Carriers & Tankers +ve growth.

*USA – Construction Spending:  public non-residential spending +ve, but private residential is -ve.

*USA – PMI:  Still indicating a contracting manufacturing economy.

*Japan – Industrial Production:  Overall modest contraction in IP.

Commodity Review 20191011 by Andrew Pedler – Now Available

Commodity Review 20190816 by Andrew Pedler – Now available

USA – Housing Starts, Industrial Production, Electricity End-Use, Bond Yields

Matau’s Comments:  

  • USA   is slowing!  Data this week reinforces last week’s OECD CLI implications.
  • Base metal inventories continue to remain tight.   Most prices are in the ‘nose of pinch-point graphs.  Pinchpoint positions are mostly less than 1 week’s consumption.   However sentiment (geopolitical) continues to drive prices over fundamentals.  
  • Several metals (Ni & Co this week)  are showing signs that reduced supply is likely to lead to higher prices.
  • Outlook is for ‘not enough’ new mine supply in coming years (the next decade), for several key commodities. 

The theme of the Resources Rising Stars conference at the Gold Coast earlier this year is appropriate:  “Pick the stock, not the market”.

 

SUMMARY  

*Copper  Codelco optimistic about long term price for Cu.  Short term prices pressured by growth concerns.

*Cobalt  Co price is up on news that Glencore is shutting its large DRC mine.

*Nickel  Philippines’ largest exporter of ‘high’ grade Ni laterite ore is to shut upon depletion of its Reserves.

*Zinc & Lead  ORN calling for ongoing need for more Zn & Cu production.  Nyrstar Pb smelter stopped again.

*Tin  Trump acknowledges that tariffs increase domestic prices.  Delays new tariffs till after Christmas.

Aluminium  Beijing announced additional import scrap quotas.

*Gold  Gold price gains as faith in Central Banks is about to be tested again.

Platinum & Palladium  Progress … of sorts … being made in wage negotiations with AMCU..

*Oil  .Russia & China have stuck by Venezuela, though that may change.

Coal  A weaker CNY, a safety campaign, shipment restrictions, though premium HCC is preferred.

Iron Ore  Beijing’s stimulus restraint driven by low infrastructure spend, impacting prices.

Shipping  Baltic indices, Cape, Panamax & Handymax up this week.

*General 

Port Hedland – Iron Ore shipments:  Shipments down in July after a bumper June effort.

USA – Electricity End-Use:  Total demand slowing, mostly in residential demand.

USA – Bond Yields:  A historical review + Current 10yr-2yr curves ‘almost’ inverted.  10yr-3mo is!

USA – Industrial Production – Capacity Utilisation: Really slow IP growth.  Cap Util is sub optimal.

USA – Housing Starts:  House starts almost stalled.

Commodity Review 20191011 by Andrew Pedler – Now Available

Commodity Review – 20190802 by Andrew Pedler – Now Available

Yields – USA

Comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’. 

Matau’s Comments:  

  • USA Yield curves are an odd shape in the current form, with a huge sag in the middle.  A review of current and pre-GFC curves shows some differences.  Some commentators consider the current duration has not been long enough.  Others comment on the ‘shape’ of the curves.  Opinions are invited.
  • Base metal inventories continue to remain tight.  Most prices are in the ‘nose of pinch-point graphs.  Pinchpoint positions are mostly less than 1 week’s consumption.  More media commentary is recognising this condition.  However sentiment (geopolitical) continues to drive prices over fundamentals.
  • The USA Fed met last week and cut rates a bit.  Trump took umbrage and announced further “taxes” (tariffs) on Chinese imports.  The markets took this hard, as a further level of uncertainty and volatility, and parts of the market appear to have capitulated.  Base metals’ contangos is one example.

SUMMARY  

*Copper  The size of the world copper market has been progressively underestimated.

*Cobalt  Indian JV Co formed to seek sources of Li, Co, et al.  Volvo cars with recycled Co produced.

*Nickel  BHP Group plans to start production of nickel sulphate in the Jun20Qtr.

Zinc & Lead  ZMI’s Kildare Zn project.  Pb supply improving (for now).

Tin  China switched to being a net exporter of refined tin last year.

*Aluminium:  quote: “Trump’s trade war with China is backfiring and impacting the US economy”.

Gold  Central Banks adding to holdings. Trump vows more tariffs on China. Global uncertainty increases.

Platinum & Palladium  WPIC upbeat on surge in Pt EFT holdings.

*Oil  USA share of growth is strong, with light crude;  heavier Iranian and Venezuelan output is down..

Coal  China again planning to limit imports, after a strong start to the year.

Iron Ore  China prices fell as Brazilian exports picked up, on Vale restarts.

Shipping  Freight rates slowed from a peak earlier in July.

General 

*USA – Yield Curves:  an examination of the current and an earlier period.  A signal not a cause.

USA – PMI:  Still positive, though still slower outlook.

*USA – Construction Spending:  -ve growth for Total and Private & Residential spends.

Japan – Industrial Production:  slow down for IP and several segments.

 

Commodity Review 20191011 by Andrew Pedler – Now Available

Some markets are capitulating … too much uncertainty to make decisions.

Contango is when forward prices (3mo fwd) are higher than cash (spot) prices, i.e. the market is more confident of supply now than into the future.  Backwardation is the reverse, when cash prices > fwd prices, i.e. markets are more worried about (prepared to pay more for) near term supply than future supply.

Last Friday, after Trump’s decision to tax / tariff all imports from China, markets appear to have capitulated in frustration, at trying to determine what direction the market(s) will move next.  We have seen previously that when a base metal (Cu, Zn, Pb, Ni, Sn, Al) market cannot figure out the direction of the market, that the prices (cash & 3mo fwd) move to parity (cash = 3mo fwd).   I cannot recall seeing all six base metals markets heading so close to parity as they have last Friday.  Such convergence is very unusual.

For some further detail see this week’s commodity review Commodity Review – 02 August 2019  .