China, USA, UK, Germany

Comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’.  

Matau’s Comments:

  • For April through June, for most key countries, the base months in 2020 were the lowest base-readings data during the initial Covid-19 wave, meaning that yr-on-yr growth numbers are strongly influenced by the low bases.  Do not be impressed by big positive numbers.   Look instead at recent data relative to pre-covid levels, and trends as a guide. 
  • Growth in electricity demand for China points to a growing economy, whereas lack of growth (or recovery from past crashes) for electricity, demand in the USA does not make a convincing growth outlook for that country. 
  • German IP data suggests its economy is weathering the covid epidemic reasonably well.
  • English IP data was on a declining trend prior to the covid epidemic and to date has recovered to that trend.
  • USD has jumped in valur on expectations of yield increases.


*Copper  Global production is increasing.  China’s refined usage is down but apparent usage is up.

Cobalt  Glencore reopening Mutanda.  Hanrui Cobalt Co has applied to list in Hong Kong. 

*Nickel  Indonesian HPAL projects approaching commissioning.  Doubts remain re-efficacy and commerciality of HPAL originated battery-grade product.

Zinc & Lead  ILZSG reports Zn deficit for April.  Mining tourism in Iran.  Pb batteries for rail transport have been around for a long time, though are now being re-invented.

Tin  Tin prices up strongly on demand.  Different ratings agencies have different outlooks.     

*Aluminium  China’s first round of inventory sales (Cu, Zn, Al) barely shifted the markets’ needles.

Gold  Price up on weak USD.  We, all of us, cannot be too careful, regarding covid-19.  Newmont’s mine in NT is a case in point.

Platinum & Palladium  Pt price forecast to trade higher.  Pd price described with limited upside.

*Oil  Oil price up on German industry activity and USA inventory drawdowns.  OPEC+ meets on 1 July.

*Coal  >200 Mtpa of China’s capacity taken offline to celebrate 100 yrs of the founding of the CCP (1 July). 

*Iron Ore  Global steel production reached record levels in May.  Tenth month of consecutive growth.

Shipping  Shipping rates reduced for Capes & Panamax, though Supramax & Handysize demand is sound. 


*USA – Electricity End-Use:  USA’s energy demand does not look like that of a growing economy.

*China – Industry & Energy Output:  Recoveries are mostly back to pre-covid levels.  Electricity demand growth is steady and positive.

*China – Transport:  Freight is recovering well.  Passenger traffic yet to recover.

*UK – Industrial Production:  IP has broadly recovered to its pre-Covid (downward) trend.

*USA – orders to Durable Goods  et al:  Mixed growth rates depending on segment(s).

*Germany – Industrial Production:  data suggests Germany has weathered Covid fairly well