Of particular note this week:

Copper:   contract negotiations to watch for.

Zinc:  poised on ongoing deficits

China:  industrial and energy data slow in December but strong in selected high-tech and consumer items.


Copper   Watch for labour contract negotiations.  Kennecott Copper lifts force majeure.

Nickel  Small miners progressing:  CZN, POS, LEG, SGQ, PIO.

Zinc & Lead  Strong Zn mine supply growth insufficient to meet demand.  Myanmar metals (MYL)’s Pb project.

Tin  China’s tin & conc imports fell markedly in 2017.  SRZ acquired additional Sn resources.

Aluminium  China’s Al cutbacks likely to be filled by China and USA plants.

Gold  Perth Mint is developing a gold-backed cryptocurrency.   BMO forecasts Au above USD 1300/oz.

Platinum & Palladium  Zimbabwe to ‘ultimately’ reduce requirements for sale of 51% of Pt & diamond projects to locals.

Oil  Saudi unlikely to abandon production cuts before 2019.  Russians dictate output to Exxon.

Coal  Chinese thermal shortage on current freezing weather.  Rare spot HCC prices reducing.

Iron Ore  Anglo has approvals to expand Minas Rio in Brazil, increasing output capacity by 56%.

Shipping  Storms and high river levels disrupt shipping ability in Australia, Asia and Europe.


Pinchpoint graphs – Cu, Zn, Ni, Pb, Al, Sn:  Showing tendencies to tighten further.

USA – Durable Goods, Vehicles Electronic products & Computers:  positive growth.

China – Industrial Output:  -ve for most but for +ve for PV, Li-ion, Colour TV and Aircon.

World Steel production:  Global steel production (and notably China’s) slowed this December.