Steel & China

Comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’. 

Matau’s Comments:  

  • China’s industrial and energy output recorded largely positive growth in key areas.
  • USA’s durable goods data were pretty ordinary numbers, but the gold sector considered them “better than expected” …?  
    • Vehicles and Electronic goods data were positive.
  • World Steel  output remains positive with notably strong growth from China & India. 
  • Yes the USA – China tariff talks are to resume, … though with no great expectations of meaningful outcomes.
  • Base metal inventories continue to remain tight.   In a broad sense not much has changed.  Base metal prices are struggling to cope with the negative fears driven largely by the USA-China trade tensions.


*Copper  SVY – stunning drill intercepts.

*Cobalt  Transition to 811 Li-ion batteries … to encourage adoption of EVs.  Expected to increase demand for Co.

*Nickel  China’s Ni-ore imports from Indonesia increased (ahead of Indonesian export bans).

Zinc & Lead  Base metals have struggled with the escalation of (USA-China) trade tensions.  Zn still in deficit.

Tin  MLX reports new strong tin intercept at Renison, in the Bell 50 area.

Aluminium  Japanese Al premiums reduced on ample supply.

*Gold  Gold market flipped from ‘risk-on’ to ‘risk-off’.  Durable goods orders better than expected.  Exactly what were they afraid of?

Platinum & Palladium  Sibanye Gold plans significant job cuts at Marikana Pt mines.

*Oil  Saudi agreed to partial cease-fire in Yemen.  Prices reduced.  Notes on USA Strategic Reserve.

*Coal  Nippon settled Dec19Qtr LVPCI & SSCC contracts.  … a change from lagged settlements.

Iron Ore  Vale to begin supply of a new iron ore product, for the pellet markets.

Shipping  Freight rates reduced this week.


*World Steel production:  The world reported good growth, with China and India notably strong.

*China – Industrial and Energy output:  Generally positive growth, in key products.

*USA – Durables, Vehicles & Electronic products:  Vehicles & Electronics up but Durables down.  … note comments in gold section