Of particular note this week:

China:  Pending China’s ‘winter restrictions’ and the National Congress on 18th October, we expect Chinese growth to continue.   Meanwhile since 2009, China has had less steel production in the DecHY. Clearly that will continue this year, likely amplified by the ‘winter restrictions’ on steel mills (and aluminium refineries).

Oil:  USA now competing with OPEC for Asian buyers.

Coal & Iron ore – strong steel margins drive demand for quality product, and lift Cape vessel demand.

World Steel production – positive yr-on-yr growth for all but a few countries.  Output is near record levels.

OECD Composite Leading Indicators (CLI) –  broadly the CLI outlook is for positive near term growth.


Copper  A Cu deficit is noted for the June17HY, driven by supply constraints.

Nickel  Ni market dipped into a wider deficit in July, on a demand surge from China.

Zinc & Lead  Sharp rise in Zn price, but demand risks highlighted.  Significant shutdown of China’s Pb-Zn mines.

Tin  Sn fundamentals are attractive. SRZ plans to start its Heemskirk project, in Tas, in 2019.

Aluminium  China’s air pollution controls require output cuts in four provinces, from Nov to March.

Gold  Price is weighed by US Fed plans to increase rates, countered a bit by geopolitical concerns.

Platinum & Palladium  Pt recycling forecast to decline post a spike last year, now with reduced profitability.

Oil  USA producers now chasing Asian buyers, and competing with OPEC.  OPEC to stay focussed.

Coal  Outlook is for coking coal prices to reduce (toward a long-held) forecast long term price.

Iron Ore  War on Smog in China will reduce steel output from Nov to March.  Right now smelters are flat out.

Shipping  Cape-Index outperformed and Panamax-index fell this week, on strong bulk commodity demand.


World Steel production:  good yr-on-yr growth but virtually unchanged mo-on-mo.  Pending China’s winter restrictions and National Congress on 18th October, we expect

USA Housing Starts:  slow growth now. Is it really still leading IP, as it used to do in the past? , or is the USA industry really still on a downtrend?

USA Industrial Production, Capacity Utilisation:  IP has low but good growth, Capacity Utilisation strong in resources, weaker in manufacturing.

Japan – LNG prices: a slight increase from past months.

OECD – Composite Leading Indicators:  Broadly indicating improved economic growth s outlook for the hort term.