Of particular note this week:

Mixed signals:  Many of the commodities have a positive medium to long term outlook though this week have been subject to mixed and or uncertain signals.  It is a bit early in the year, though it appears that an often mooted, but not necessarily pronounced northern hemisphere summer slow-down could be giving advance notice this year.

Several base metals have low inventories, that are being countered by ‘fears’ of slower demand growth, which on the face of it is not sufficient to cause a sustained glut.

Precious metals continue to be subject to uncertain geopolitical influences.  


Copper  Mixed signals in China data.  Watch this Monday’s China PMI, for weakening.

Nickel  SGQ Ni results.  Indonesia and Philippines effectively playing uncoordinated supply ‘tag’.

Zinc & Lead  IBG & RVR as emerging Zn producers.  HRR as an emerging polymetallic.  Supply gap is growing.

Tin  Low inventory indicates tightness, though the market is not behaving like it is tight.

Aluminium  China is actively shedding surplus and non-commercial capacity.

Gold  Gold market is jittery on political (mostly US linked) activity.

Platinum & Palladium  Lonmin operation disrupted by protestors demanding jobs.

Oil  Oil prices up on lower than expected US inventories.  … but non-OPEC output is up.

Coal  JPU March JFY thermal contract settled.  Met coal still seeking price signals from a recovering spot market.

Iron Ore  Slower than expected steel demand in China and forced production restrictions.

Shipping  Capes up and Panamax still slipping.

LNG prices down.