China transport & Recovery

Comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’.  

Matau’s Comments:  

  • China’s transport data is inciteful in its portrayal of impacts on different segments, and potential recovery time-frames. 
  • Base metals are starting to show some price recovery though some of Covid-19’s affected-supply-shock will continue.  Because of the disruption to both demand and supply, albeit in different locations and on different time-scales makes forecasting supply demand balances and conditions … difficult.
  • USA PMI collapsed in May.  The outlook is poor for USA. 
  • USA oil-shale rig counts have reduced dramatically.  The rapid production decline profiles of the oil-shale holes means USA’s oil output will really shrink soon!   … Commentary doubts an ability to recover quickly. Despite OPEC+ actions.  
  • Gold prices have reduced modestly anticipating industrial recoveries, though we expect ongoing triggers from other factors leading to ongoing volatility in the near future.


*Copper  Cu price advances on Covid-19 recoveries and expectations of stimulus driven demand.

Cobalt  Chinese Svolt claims development of a Co-free battery, but industry expects Co usage to continue.  

Nickel  Indonesia to retain Ni-ore export ban, though will relax exports on some other minerals.

Zinc & Lead  Zn’s spot TCs continued down as South Americans restarted production, despite Covid-19.  

Tin  Forecast shortages of supply are now showing in inventories and prices.     

Aluminium  China is now importing aluminium.  Japan’s Al price premium at lower levels.

*Gold  Some safe-haven criteria are easing, though other triggers remain. 

Platinum & Palladium  Forecast Pt prices to have near term rally upon recovering industrial demand.

*Oil  OPEC+ to agree to extend the 9.7 mb/d cuts. USA may have cut too much production?

Coal  HCC & LVPCI Jun20Qtr contract prices.  Imports surged into China, which is tightening ports again.

*Iron Ore  Indian steel capacity utilisation is recovering post- heavy lockdown, measures.  … ditto China.

*Shipping  Shipping freight rates firmed on iron ore, coal and other bulk commodity demand. 


*China – Freight and Passenger Traffic:  comparisons between impacts of SARS & Covid-19. 

*Baker Hughes – Rig Counts – World & North America:  Rig counts down, across the board.

*Japan – Industrial Production & segments:  Steep falls in output and growth for most segments.

*USA – Purchasing Managers’ Index:  ‘Recovering’ slightly from lows but outlook is poor.

USA – Construction Spending:  Growth rates down though remain positive (for April).