USA – Japan

Comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’.  

Matau’s Comments:

  • For April though June, the base months in 2020 were usually the lowest data base-readings during the initial Covid-19 wave, meaning that yr-on-yr growth numbers are strongly influenced by the low bases.  Look instead at recent data relative to pre-covid levels as a guide. 
    • This is reflected this week in USA and Japanese data.  In both sets recovery is under way from Covid-lows, but in most segments, recovery has yet to achieve pre-covid levels.
  • New technology funded in part by major Cu miners gives promise of ability to achieve higher recoveries from chalcopyrite ore than previously.  Success here will be important to forward copper supply.
  • Prices for Ni & Co will depend on supply and demand, the latter of which is somewhat dependent on availability and efficacy of substitute elements and technologies, depending on prices, and upon time-frames to commercialisation (which are usually longer than initial estimates).    


*Copper  New technology development for Cu extraction from low-grade Cu ores. 

*Cobalt  Status, outlook and drivers for cobalt to 2025. 

*Nickel  Ni prices forecast on a gradual long term uptrend, by Fitch & Bloomberg.

Zinc & Lead  NCZ improves Zn recoveries with Jameson Cell commissioning.   Pb TCs fell on tight supply.  

Tin  Malaysia Smelting Corp’s Sn output closed during current lockdowns, initially till mid-June. 

Aluminium  China’s Al output to increase till 2024, when recycled output is forecast to increase. 

Gold  Australia may challenge China’s position as #1 gold producer. 

Platinum & Palladium  Russian banks to fund Chernogorskoye Pt deposit in Serbia. 

*Oil  Higher prices forecast, though duration is uncertain.  OPEC holds the keys. 

*Coal  Japanese annual benchmark thermal settled up significantly.  Met coal prices improving.  

Iron Ore  Prices increased again, on strong steel production, & ore supply constraints. 

Shipping  Asian freight capacity eased & prices moderated compared to recent weeks.  


*USA- Electricity End-Use:  Industrial demand dipped during Covid.  Will it recover?.  

*USA – Purchasing Managers’ Index:  Positive overall, though slowing from prior peaks.  

*USA – Construction Spending:  Private & Residential spending grew.  Public Non-Res declined. 

*Japan – Industrial Production:  Recovery is under way but yet to get back to pre-covid levels.