*Copper Cu price weakness has not been driven by fundamentals, rather by recent macroeconomic fears.
*Cobalt Off-take parties asking for maximum volumes despite current quiet conditions.
*Nickel Short term mkt pain but mid-long- term bullish on looming deficits.
*Zinc & *Lead Zn market in transition to a (finely) balanced state. RVR, NCZ. Revolutionary Pb filter.
Tin Production slowing. Demand outlook growing.
Aluminium 2018 an unusually volatile year, laden with political risk/interference.
Gold Central bank holdings declined toward 2008 and have been increasing since 2009.
Platinum & Palladium South Africa’s large Waterberg pgm project makes (regulatory) progress.
*Oil In the face of outlook for plentiful oil supply, outlook for >USD 100/bbl is fanciful.
*Coal Expected China-import surge for HCC ahead of winter restrictions, overestimated, so far.
*Iron Ore Iron ore imports to China ignore fears of an economic slowdown. Fears may be unfounded?
Shipping Capesize rates down, Panamax up, this week.
*Port Hedland Iron Ore: steady export rates, remaining high, and China dominant.
*Pinchpoint updates: Regardless of sentiment, rhetoric and stock mkts, tightening continues.
*Baker Hughes – Rig Counts: # Rigs increased after oil price rise. USD 100/bbl target is fanciful.
Japan – LNG Prices: LNG prices may be stabilising as oil prices soften slightly
Ports and Rig Counts
Most industrial metals prices have fallen further as investor fears that Trump’s tariffs could undermine global growth. However the fundamentals remain reasonably tight, with inventories continuing to fall in most commodities.
Of particular note this week read those items below marked with “*”:
Copper Thieves stealing cathode Cu from moving trains in Chile.
*Cobalt Demand for cobalt in vehicle battery materials is expected to grow over 40% in 2018.
*Nickel Philippine Ni Assoc’n expects Ni ore shipments to fall 17% in 2018.
*Zinc & Lead Zn inventories continue to fall. Mkt expected to be “less tight”… but hedge funds cutting positions.
Tin AfriTin Mining plans to revive the Uis deposit in Namibia.
Aluminium Fears grow that the USA tariffs could erode global growth.
Gold USD gold price continues to erode with strengthening USD index value. Watch for Fed comments.
Platinum & Palladium Zimbabwe’s President wants to revive the economy through mining. There is still work to do.
*Oil USA considering selling down strategic oil stockpiles to reduce the oil price.
Coal Seaborne met-coal price movements for Dec18HY depend on Chinese & Australian outcomes.
Iron Ore Metal Bulletin to revise its specification of 62% Fe iron ore cfr price. China’s total iron ore imports reduced but its imports from Pt Hedland increased.
Shipping Cape rates strong this week, though Panamax rates softer.
*China – steel inventories: Since 2011 only 2016 & 2017 levels have been lower.
*Port Hedland – iron ore shipments: At record levels!
Singapore Port Traffic: Containers remain strong while Bulks and Tankers remain weak.
*Pinch point updates: Inventories continue to reduce but mkt sentiment (fears) dropped prices.
Baker Hughes – World and USA & Canada Rig counts: Rig counts continue to lag oil prices.
Japan – LNG prices: Price lift on sustained oil price lift.