Of particular note this week:

Australia Exploration Spending – minerals spend up yr-on-yr, though oil&gas down.  WA, SA, NSW & Vic spend was up.  Cu, Ni, Au and coal spend was up. spending on drilling was up … that is what discovers deposits!

USA:  Construction Spend – growth for residential and public spending.

Iron ore:  near record shipments from Pt Hedland. China is only exporting about 15% of its steel production.  Its consumption is growing.

Copper:  favourable supply constraints with demand growth in China.

Nickel:  looks like it will be slow to recover, but April data might point to quicker movement.

OPEC:  struggling to drive prices without defaulting to the former swing producer function.


Copper  Good Chinese economic data and ongoing supply issues support prices.

Nickel  Nickel is forecast to be slow to recover, but April data may indicate quicker pick up from China.

Zinc & Lead  Dugald River project to be funded by Chinese banks.

Tin  Myanmar supply facing low Sn grades and resources.  Indonesian exports up on high tin prices.

Aluminium  Portland smelter back up to 33% capacity.

Gold  Price best described as a currency play.  US and UK political risks over-rated for impact on gold.

Platinum & Palladium  Palladium price approaching platinum’s.

Oil  OPEC struggling to achieve original, and extended, agreement goals;  facing increasing supply.

Coal  HCC June17Qtr contract price to be formed by indexes.

Iron Ore  Chinese prices for lump firm but fines weaker.

Shipping  Indexes showing recovery trends this week.

Mineral & Petroleum Expl’n Spend Australia
– Minerals spend is recovering.  Oil&gas bottomed.

Port Hedland – Iron Ore shipments –  close to record levels.

USA Construction Spend – positive private and residential spending growth.