World Steel & China

Comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’.  

Matau’s Comments:  

  • Base metals’ pinch-point graphs continue to show metal prices rising, in response to expectations of (stimulus driven) increased demand, and recognition of tight supply.   Copper price in particular breaking upward, on the pinchpoint graphs, as industry restarts post-Covid-19 in several areas. 
  • Iron ore demand remains firm with China’s surging steel output.
  • China’s industrial & energy output showing good recovery post-covid.
    • Demand for Cu & Co is showing strong growth in China.
  • USA’s vehicles & electronics orders showing decent recoveries, though durable goods are slower to recover.
    • Some insights into statistical manipulation regarding USA’s CPI numbers.


*Copper  China’s demand for Cu is rising.  Inventories are falling.  

Cobalt  China’s Co imports are jumping.    

*Nickel  EV batteries should be known as Ni-graphite batteries, not Li-ion. 

Zinc & Lead  Zn & Pb posted surpluses for Jun20HY, though inventories are falling, again.  

Tin  DRC providing miners waivers on export bans (across several segments).     

Aluminium  Al sector struggling to agree on consistent environmental emissions standards.

*Gold  USA Fed has now officially moved its price inflation goalpost.  Beware statistical methods in USA.

Platinum & Palladium  PGI is looking to a recovery in jewellery fabrication post-covid.

*Oil  Saudi Arabia has lost market share in China to Russia & USA.   

Coal  Brazilian steel mills seeking 2021 supply of met coal, coming back on line. 

Iron Ore  Iron ore market well supported by ongoing supply issues.   

Shipping  Typhoons and heavy rain in China tightened the availability of shipping. 


World Steel: World Steel output slower in July, with few positive growth rates. 

China – Industry & Energy Output:  Broadly positive growth across segments.

USA – Durables, Vehicles & Electronic products:  Vehicles bounced, but Durables lagging