Of particular interest this week:

  • Back to basic economics! … as soon as someone tries to impose limits, or bans something, whether on money or commodity supply, the people find ways to circumvent the limitations.  e.g. shadow banking in China, and Indonesian bans on export of unprocessed or low-level processed ores (tin, bauxite, nickel).
  • Global Steel production – note the forecast iron ore production by the major five producers, and the global 5 yr CAGR consumption rate.  Also, ASEAN countries demand is growing strongly.
  • Gold  – too volatile a world to short the commodity, but will it perform?


Copper  – Freeport Indonesia ‘agreed’ (under pressure) to new mining contract terms for Grasberg.

Nickel  – Philippines’-laterite a poor substitute for the Indonesian variety.    .

Zinc & Lead – China – a net importer of zinc!  Lead export data – careful with statistics.

Tin  – China sourcing tin concentrate from Myanmar, (bypassing the Indonesian ban).

Aluminium  –  China sourcing bauxite from Ghana and Dominican Republic.  Alumina imports up.

Gold  – Too risky a world to short gold, but will it perform?    .

Platinum & Palladium  – WHO declares that “pollution is the world’s single largest health risk.”

Oil  – Kurdish (Iraqi) oil shipment approaching USA.  Disagreement about who owns the oil.

Coal – Mozambique coking coal offered to India – a first!.  Indonesian coal royalties to increase.

Iron Ore – Chinese iron ore output reducing at lower prices.  Steel mills more profitable (at lower ore prices).  ASEAN -6 consumption growth.

Shipping – Earnings are down.  Demolition rates are up.


World Steel Production – June avg daily rates up slightly in June.

USA- Orders to:  durable goods, vehicles and computers & electronic goods. Up except for computers.

Japan – Electricity demand – slower on cooler (summer) weather.