Iron Ore – USA durables – Rig Counts

Comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’.  

Matau’s Comments:

  • For many countries the depths fo the covid-pandemic were March – June 2020, so yr-on-yr growth rates for even modest recovery from covid will likely report strong positive growth rates for Mar-Jun 2021, for perhaps modest recoveries not even back to pre-covid levels.   Being aware of that statistical outcome it may be wise to look at mo-on-mo growth, of the overall trend rather than the ‘number’.
    • This week several notes refer to disruptions to supply contributed by issues with the covid-19 pandemic.
  • Most commodity markets (Cu, Co, Zn, Pb)  are showing signs of increased tight (labour or raw materials) conditions, witnessed in the pinch-point graphs.
    • Precious metals remain under some pressure, though there are abundant geopolitical and other risks available, and visible to the market.   


*Copper  Cu output from Chile reduced.  Consumers feeling the shortfalls in supply 

*Cobalt  Easing supply chain bottlenecks to soften Co prices.   

*Nickel  A positive macro-economic outlook supports Ni prices, though some uncertainty ahead.

Zinc & Lead  ILZSG forecasts surpluses for Zn & Pb for 2021.  

*Tin  The super-squeeze in the tin market rolls on.   China flips from importer to exporter    

Aluminium  China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (CNIA) appoints new head of aluminium.

*Gold  Polyus’ giant Sukoi Log Au deposit in Russia to achieve FID after discovery in about 1972. 

Platinum & Palladium  PGI outlook is for positive sentiment in the Pt jewellery sectors.

Oil  Weak Japanese demand and uncertain Indian demand tempered oil price rises.  

Coal  Ongoing conflict of information on Chinese imports bans (between Chinese agencies) 

Iron Ore  Benchmark prices touched record high of  USD 194/t cfr last week, on good steel output growth.  

Shipping  Rates increased on strong iron ore and grain demand.


*Iron Ore vs AUDUSD:  ‘normally’ (as at present) AUDUSD rates increase with iron ore prices.

USA Treasury Yields:  Increasing, but still low.  Oil & Cu prices increase with higher yields.

Baker Hughes – Rig Counts:  recovering with improved oil prices.

*USA Durable Goods, Vehicles & Electronics orders:  high reported growth off low (covid) bases