Ports & USA-IP

Comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’.  

Matau’s Comments:

·                     Base metal markets remain excruciatingly tight!  

·                     High power costs are widely impacting global smelters’ output(s).

·                     The Chinese New Year (Year of the Tiger) begins 01 February 2022, with a week long holiday break  for many operations.

    • 2022 is a year of the Tiger, starting from February 1st, 2022, and ending on January 21st, 2023.  It is a Water Tiger year.
    • The Tiger is known as the king of all beasts in China.  The zodiac sign Tiger is a symbol of strength, exorcising evils, and braveness.  

·                     Iron ore offtake from Port Hedland in December was strong, as (many of them Asian) smelters and furnaces stock up ahead of Chinese New Year breaks. 

·                     Japan’s offtake of iron ore has resumed growth.  It will be interesting to see Japan’s December IP data, when it reports.


Copper  Cu price up on positive sentiment.  NRX’ projects in Namibia are of interest.

Cobalt  Demand for Co and Co intermediate products is growing.  

Nickel  Ni price at highest in a decade on concerns about supply and stock levels. 

Zinc & Lead  Fitch revised Zn forecast prices upward.   China removed import tariffs on lead battery scrap.

Tin  KLTM tin price at historic high levels. 

Aluminium  Soaring electricity prices in Europe have triggered cuts in aluminium production. 

Gold  Au prices down Friday but up on the week, on a weaker USD and mixed economic releases. 

Platinum & Palladium  A summary of uses and investment appeal..

Oil  China’s annual crude oil imports for 2021 were reduced for the first times since 2001.   

Iron Ore  Market is looking for indications of China’s policy after the Winter Olympics. 

Shipping  Dry Bulk was good in 2021, looks promising for 2022.  Indonesia allows some thermal coal exports.


Port Hedland – Iron ore:  December offtake was strong.  SE Asian demand ex China is growing: 

Port of Singapore:  Container traffic is becoming more robust, though bulks traffic is down .

USA – IP & Capacity utilisation:  IP has resumed modest growth rates.  Cap.Utiln is improving.

Bond Yields:  Long term yields are approaching pre-pandemic levels.