Comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’.  

Matau’s Comments:  

  • China’s transport data is insightful in its portrayal of impacts on different segments, and potential recovery time-frames.   (see last week’s issue if not already read).
  • Base metals:  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.  Markets now fear a second wave of Covid-19 infections in USA and Europe.  South America is now a focus, with risks to base metals supply.
  • Iron ore shipments and bulk carriers are in demand to meet China’s surge in steel production.
  • USA oil-shale rig counts have continued to reduce.   Comments suggest that an increase in oil price might see some rigs reinstated.  Though that challenges the idea that the oil price increase may be sustained, as demand has yet to demonstrate recovery. 
  • Gold prices have improved, responding to market fears of second+ waves of Covid-19 virus. 


Copper  Falls in demand still playing off against supply disruptions in Cu (and other base metals).

Cobalt  COB backed by majors.  CATL & Tesla agreed on LFP batteries (Co-free) for model-3 (only).  

Nickel  Stainless steel outlook and restaurant cutlery feature in Citi analysis.

Zinc & Lead  Jump in LME inventories dampened outlook for Zn & Pb, at least short term.  

Tin  Indonesia’s PT Timah to develop tin smelting capacity.     

Aluminium  USA continues to raise threats of tariffs against Canada, despite agreements since WWII.

Gold  Non-bank ‘Nidhi’ finance increasing plus surge in gold sales and loans in India. 

Platinum & Palladium  Platinum’s role(s) are important in the health sector.

Oil  USA rig numbers at record lows (since 1940).  Oil price recovery may see rigs added by end of mo.

Coal  SSCC Jun20Qtr contract settlements.  Australian suppliers exercising discipline by ‘stealth’. 

Iron Ore  CRU forecasts strong steel output ahead of wet season in southern China.  Brazil has issues.

Shipping  Freight rates firmed on iron ore demand, and Brazilian supply issues. 


Port Hedland – Iron ore exports:  continuing to match China’s surging steel output. 

Baker Hughes – North American Rig Counts:  have continued downward. 

Germany – Industrial Production:  heavy falls in April data.

United Kingdom – Industrial Production:  heavy falls in March data.