Exploration, China, Shipping, USA

Comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’.  

Matau’s Comments:

  • It is frustrating when companies are required to report data to the relevant exchanges, yet government statistics agencies’ rules prevent them from including those data in relevant categories.
  • Australian mineral exploration has clearly been on a surge.  Good!  More discoveries are needed to feed forecast demand growth.
  • Overall, while still jittery and volatile, the global economy continues to recover.  In this note that is evident in shipping data and in Chinese output data. 
  • USA economic housing and IP data again show some jitters. 
  • Supply (disruptions) and demand issues continue to compete (oil, metals).  
    • Covid containment issues are not helping.  It appears some countries are again in their own firing line in this regard.
  • Despite impediments, overall it appears the world industry and trade is growing back toward, though not yet up to, pre-covid levels. 


*Copper  Study shows REEs play important roles in formation of major (IOCG) style deposits.

Cobalt  Cobalt is largely a byproduct of Ni & Cu production.  Few mines have Co as their key product.   

*Nickel  Production of Ni matte from Ni-laterites is economic, but has its own issues.

Zinc & Lead  Nationwide transport strike in Peru likely to impact supply of Zn, & Cu concentrates.  

*Tin  Tightness on the London Metal Exchange (LME) tin contract remains acute.     

*Aluminium  Major Al inventory deliveries into Asian LME warehouses (appears it was planned).

Gold  Gold price appears to be being held hostage by USA real 10 year note yields again. 

*Platinum & Palladium  Norilsk is working toward restoring capacity to its flooded mines in the next 3-4 months.

Oil  Oil price is roller-coasting on supply constraints and increased demand vs fears of slowdowns. 

Coal  SSCC Mar21Qtr (lagged) contract pricing settled.  

*Iron Ore  Vale is looking to develop a major port to increase competitiveness in shipping to Asia. 

Shipping  Asian freight rates increase with demand for grain, iron ore & scrap metal. 


*Australia – Exploration Spending:  There is a surge in activity under way.

Port Hedland – Iron Ore shipments:  Growth has slowed in the past four months. 

Singapore – Port traffic:  Growth is improving post-covid. 

*China – Transport:  Transport (& other data) shows recovery toward pre-pandemic levels.

*China – Industry & Energy Output:  Feb 2020 was peak month for China’s effort to control Covid19

*Baker Hughes – Rig Counts:  Rig counts are increasing, lagging oil price increases.

*USA – House Starts:  negative growth for a 4th month.

*USA – Industrial Production & Capacity Utilisation:  negative growth and reduced capacity use.