Xmas BellsWe at Matau Advisory wish you a very happy and relaxing festive season, and a happy, healthy and prosperous new year for 2018.  This issue also considers some of Santa’s logistical challenges.

Of particular note this week:

 China Industry & Energy output:  High growth for high tech & discretionary (consumer) items.   Low growth for bulks and construction materials.

World Steel:  As usual, the positive growth is from the ‘emerging’ economies.

Copper:  look forward to labour disruption in 2018. .

Base metals (Cu, Zn, Ni) – generally facing shortages in 2018.  Pinchpoint graphs continue to show tightening.

Gold :  Nova’s Witwatersrand style targets are good, though require more work to get from concept to true ‘discovery’ status (i.e. normal exploration).


Copper  Southern Copper (Peru) on indefinite strike.  Odd trading on Shanghai exchange.  Chile’s new president is more business oriented than his predecessor.

Nickel  EV market forecast outcomes / expectations are clear.  Actual time-frames are difficult to pin down.

Zinc & Lead  CZL intercepted thick massive sulphides.  Lead market in deficit currently.

Tin  Deficit forecast in 2017.  ShFE Sn stocks declining.

Aluminium  China’s AL output expected to increase in 2018 & 2019.

Gold  El Salvador bans all mining.  Novo’s initial Pilbara drilling reality check.  Discovery will take longer.

Platinum & Palladium  Substitution of Pt for Pd.  South African new PM is more business friendly.

Oil  Rising US output.  Re-opening Forties pipeline.  vs  OPEC supply cuts continue.  The oil market appears to be achieving some sort of balance, with prices of the order of USD 60-70/bbl,

Coal  Prime coking coal prices increasing further.  Thermal  coal’s share of global energy to fall only marginally for the next five years.

Iron Ore  Prices edging higher but Chinese buyers standing back.

Shipping  Cape rates and Panamax rates down this week, with less chartering activity.


Singapore shipping traffic:  strong growth for containers and tankers.  Reduced for bulk carriers.

Base metal pinch points:  Most metals positioned tightly.  Disruption may lead to volatile prices.

World Steel production:  strongest growth as usual is among the emerging economies.  China dipped as it approaches ‘winter restrictions’.

China Industrial & Energy output:  High growth for high tech & discretionary (consumer) items.

USA orders to New Housing Starts:  Strong growth.

USA- orders to Durable Goods, Vehicles and Electronic Goods & Computers:  good growth.