USA  – Japan

Comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’.

Supply issues continue to abound, keeping some tension in most metals markets.  However as China’ ShFE resumed trading, seasonal factors are reported to have led to significant increases in Cu and Zn stock on that exchange.

Geopolitical factors continue to daunt and disrupt global investment and industrial markets.


Copper  Chile tightening use of water (by miners) in the Atacama.

Cobalt  NGOs oppose LME plans for banning tainted (DRC) et al) cobalt.

*Nickel  Ni deficits forecast to continue in 2019.  Eramet to focus on reducing costs in New Caledonia

Zinc & Lead  Zn TCs increased.

Tin  Bolivia’s Huanuni Sn mine is now delivering concentrates.

Aluminium  Chinese smelters appear to be struggling under low prices.

Gold  Contradictory macro data and news flow have kept the commodity market volatile recently.

Platinum & Palladium  AMCU has sent strike warnings to Sibanye-Stillwater, and six other companies.

Oil  Prices rising on optimism on progress in China-USA trade talks.

Coal  Coking coal prices remain in uptrend, despite Chinese port blocks.

Iron Ore  Significant amounts of Vale’s export iron ore is at risk during 2019.

Shipping  Freight rates recovering post Chinese NY.

General  *USA – Treasury Yield Curves:  quite flat but key curves not inverted.

*USA – Industrial Production & Capacity Utilisation:  Positive growth at reasonable rates.

*USA – Durable Goods, Vehicles, Electronic goods:

*Japan – Orders to Machinery (segments):  Orders fell in December but were +ve over 12 mo.