Comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’. 

Matau’s Comments:  

  • Base metal inventories continue to remain tight.  Most prices are in the ‘nose of pinch-point graphs.  Pinchpoint positions are mostly less than 1 week’s consumption.  More media commentary is recognising this condition.  However sentiment (geopolitical) continues to drive prices over fundamentals.
  • Base metal (industrial metal) trade volumes though exchanges have slowed markedly during 2019, with ‘trade-war fatigue’ and the lack of apparent progress emanating from the USA-China trade talks, which  is affecting the confidence to make decisions and trade in markets.  
  • USA economic data (industrial production, orders to durable goods, housing starts, construction spending) that relate directly to commodities demand, are all showing signs of either slowing or of negative growth.  employment is usually a lagging data series, orders to durable goods and new housing starts are both indicators of confidence that normally lead employment data changes.  The USA Federal Reserve Chairman commented that there is a concern that slowing global economies may impact upon the USA.  Matau’s observations are that the USA economy is already slowing. 
  • The atmosphere at the recent Noosa Mining & Exploration conference was one of high interest levels and measured up-beat outlook, pending or even in despite of world geopolitical risks. 



*Copper  Chinese CU smelters slashed CU TC/RCs.  Cu mine production growth forecast 2019 is v.slow.

*Cobalt  USA pushed (by local politicians) to investigate Australian miner merge with Canadian miner.

*Nickel  Guatemala to suspend large Ni mines’ production.  WSA to ramp up output due to tight supply.

Zinc & Lead  Yinzhushan – new China Zn-Pb mine.  Analysts cannot agree forecast Zn prices.  G1A high grades.

Tin  SRZ seeking early production from Razorback, upon further drilling and evaluation.

Aluminium  Chinese daily aluminium output records record levels in June.

Gold  USA Fed monetary policy statement due in 10 days.  Au price is up on mkt punts of more rate cuts.

Platinum & Palladium  Sth African Pt miners enter labour negotiations.

Oil  Slowing oil demand growth and a persistent global glut will cap oil prices.

Coal  China import restrictions appear to have been introduced.

Iron Ore  Look to Vale’s Jun19Qtr report next wk for clues for restarting production.  Iron ore prices are high.

Shipping   Cape & Panamax rates up on demand for bulk commodities

General  Port Hedland – Iron Ore shipments:  The export surge continues, with some Brazilian influence.

USA – Industrial Production & Capacity Utilisation:  IP has slow +ve growth. CU is sub-optimal.

USA – New Housing Starts:  growth picked up in June, into +ve levels.