Comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’.  

Matau’s Comments:  

  • Key drivers for 2020 are likely to be the same ones as for 2019:  outlook for growth in developing economies and sustained health of advanced ones, set against potential supply disruptions and other geopolitical risks.  
  • China’s freight rates remain robust – suggesting the economy has not been impacted as much as USA sanctions have hoped.   
  • EV market growth is again appearing in market optimism.  This is a year or two earlier than we expect for a real demand impact.  
  • Base metal markets have loosened this week, though mostly remain fundamentally tight, and are incrementally continuing to tighten.  Watch for supply disruption(s).  In 2020 there are numerous key labour negotiations at operations in Chile.  Supply disruptions such as these, in absence of dramatic (geopolitical) drivers are likely to drive price responses.  


*Copper  Cu prices not forecast to jump much upon any agreement on USA-China trade tensions. 

*Cobalt  European Co metal prices boosted on expectations of EV demand build up.   

*Nickel  Indonesia has approved EIS for battery-grade Ni chemicals factories.  

Zinc & Lead  Global Zn forecast to ramp up over the next few years.   

Tin  China’s Sn refined production declined.  Concentrate supply expected to remain tight.

Aluminium  Chalco has begun shipping bauxite from Guinea.  

Gold  Sudan changing gold trading rules to crack down on smuggling.  

Platinum & Palladium  Pd currently enjoying a boom in demand an price, but auto industry is starting to cool.

*Oil  Oil prices spiked then softened, as USA-Iran tensions rose then unwound.  

Coal  Prices remained firm.  Quarterly met coal price settlements for LVPCI & SSCC re-stated.

Iron Ore  Chinese steel mill utilisation rates increased.  Prices increased in AUD terms.

Shipping  downward trends in freight rates continued this week.  


*World Gold Council:  gold supply & demand trends:  Total net demand up 3%.  Supply down.   

*China – Freight & Passenger traffic:  freight traffic growth remains robust.