USA and Japan

Comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’.  

Matau’s Comments:

  • Battery minerals commodity supply:  – this thematic continues, and will for some time …  has been over-estimated by EV manufacturers for some time, though they appear to be recognising the limitations inherent in ramping up new mine supply.  Viz: discover, evaluation, permitting, construction and commissioning.   
  • China’s demand for steel and copper continues to surge.
    • Australian iron ore exports are not likely to be restricted by China as it needs too much of it to maintain its steel output.  
  • Base metals’ prices again lifted upon reducing exchange stocks and expectations of improving outlook via stimuli.  
    • However it is still unlikely that Covid-19 influence has finished yet, variably impacting (disrupting) both demand and supply.
    • But absolutely  … look at the pinch-point graphs with base metals’ responses to looming demand and fundamentally tight markets !!!


Copper  Chinese demand for copper will be a dominating factor in 2021 

Cobalt  Mined & refined Co reduced for the first time since 2016.  Market to tighten in 2021.  

Nickel  China is struggling to source enough Ni from traditional suppliers Indonesia and Philippines..

Zinc & Lead  China’s domestic Zn conc TCs are at 27 mo lows.   IBG progresses permits for Citronen. 

Tin  Tin has escaped relatively unscathed from this year’s pandemic.  Electronics set to pick up.

Aluminium  China’s winter pollution cuts restricting aluminium and alumina production.

Gold  Au bullion prices might meet headwinds depending on central banks’ actions toward recoveries. .  

Platinum & Palladium  Pt jewellery demand lifted as Pt takes (price) preference over Au..

Oil  Global demand for road fuels hit a two-month high last week, recovering from lockdowns. 

Coal  LVPCI & SSCC Dec20Qtr settlements achieved between Australian and Japanese.  

Iron Ore  Benchmark iron ore futures up on speculative demand (in China). 

Shipping  Asian rates up on strong Chinese demand for both coal and iron ore.


Port Hedland – Iron Ore shipments: Shipments to China & Japan reduced but Sth Korea was up.

USA – Durable Goods:  Durables orders were -ve though vehicles and electronic goods were +ve.

USA – Construction Spending:  Residential +ve, Non-Residential -ve, Public +ve and Private +ve.

Japan – LNG prices:  prices lifted notably from recent lows.