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Base Metals & Oil today

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Economic events in today’s market:

  • Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Rate Statement
  • UK Services Purchasing Managers Index (PMI)
  • Australia Interest Rate Decision


Short review of metal prices today  


Speaking of today’s trade, base metal movement & their volatility is mixed. The three month copper price rose up for 0.2%, leveling the $6,939 per tonne. Following, the lead price is 0.1% up. While the other base metals see a downwards movement with losses. Nickel prices are down for 0.2%, while the tin and lead prices are 0.4% lower.

Total trade volume today is average. Observing yesterday, monday’s trade came out with slight gains in copper and nickel. Aluminium prices fell for 1.1%.

Currently, precious metals are up total 0.2%. Spot gold price rose for a 0.2%, while palladium prices are also 0.2% up. Silver is up for 0.1%.

In SHFE Today, steel prices were 0.1% up. The gold and silver prices grew for 0.3%, and 0.6% respectively.

Observing the indices, and asian equities this morning.. Firstly, we notice the Kospi off 0.2%. Secondly, the Nikkei down 0.6%. Thirdly, the ASX 200 little changed, while the Hang Seng is up 0.2%. Finishing with the CSI 300 up 0.5%.


U.S. Oil industry is recovering from Harvey; Gasoline prices are slipping


Gasoline prices in the U.S. fell down, as a result of devastation which Harvey caused. Now the pipelines, shipping channels and all the capacity is easily recovering and restarting their operations.

According to U.S. guard reports, the Gulf Coast is recovering as Harvey had a great impact on refining capacities all over the shore. They still may are some restrictions on vessel drafts.



Key pipelines for fuel should be restarted. The production of oil in oil refineries should also improve the outputs.  

“ Harvey dumped as much as 50 inches (127 cm) of rain over Texas and Louisiana, forcing officials to close or restrict operations at ports from Corpus Christi, Texas, to Lake Charles, Louisiana. It also forced the closure of nearly a quarter of the nation’s oil refining capacity.” (Reuters)


In conclusion, while base metals are slightly volatile, some are still showing the upwards trend. Oil market in U.S. is recovering from Harvey impact, while this also is affecting the global market and the global oil supplies.


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Short report on Base Metals Trade Today

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Speaking about base metal market on September 4.. We see copper up for +0.9%, nickel +0.9% and tin 0.2%. All the prices pushing higher.

On the other hand, the rest are weaker. Or little changed with aluminium off 0.8%, zinc off 0.5% and lead flat.

After Friday, Today’s volume of trade is high, with 14,593 lots traded as of 07:15 BST.


Precious Metals

Precious metal prices are up 0.9% on average this morning. Together with spot gold prices up 0.9% at $1,337.23 per oz. Silver and the PGMs up by similar percentages.

This follows a strong day on Friday, especially for palladium where prices rallied 4.8% to $980 per oz. While gold prices closed up 0.3%, silver and platinum closed up 0.8%.



In Shanghai Futures Exchange today the base metals are for the most part stronger. Going with average gains of 1%. Copper prices up 0.8% at 53,150 yuan ($8,120) per tonne. Most noteworthy, nickel prices are the strongest. They are up 2.9%, while lead prices are up 1.7% and zinc up 1.2%. On the other hand, tin prices are little changed and aluminium prices are off 0.6%.


“Spot copper prices in Changjiang are up 1% at 52,900-53,230 yuan per tonne and the London/Shanghai copper arb ratio is weaker at 7.69 (7.74).” (Fast Markets)

Steel rebar prices on the SHFE are up 2.4%, while gold and silver prices are up by 0.7% and 1.3% respectively. Iron ore prices for January delivery are off 0.7% at 573.50 yuan per tonne on the Dalian Commodity Exchange.


Speaking about the international markets, spot Brent crude oil prices are off 0.9% at $52.29 per barrel.

And the yield on US ten-year treasuries has climbed to 2.17%, while the German ten-year bund yield is little changed at 0.36%. (Fast Markets)
The Chinese yuan is currently at 6.5447. Which is at its strongest since June last year.  This suggests confidence in the economy. Most of the other emerging market currencies we follow are firm, suggesting little risk-off appetite.

Aluminium, Zinc, Copper and nickel prices are trading at really high levels, in comparison with previous months. Tin and lead prices are lagging behind, but the volume is at high level in global.

Having geopolitical events in mind, there may be some diversification going on amongst investors. Trading is likely to get intensive as higher prices attract profit-taking.


China: Steel futures hitting high

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Top 5 things to pay attention to this week:

  1. ECB policy meeting
  2. U.S. ISM services PMI
  3. UK PMIs
  4. China trade figures
  5. Bank of Canada rate decision


China steel future prices:

In the beginning, China’s steel future prices jumped to their high this morning. It is the highest in 4 and a half years. The fire might lead to the new round of inspections…

One of the most active rebar futures on SHFE hit $639.87 (4,194yuan) a tonne. This is the highest level since the winter of 2013. The news about the fire at Bengang Steel Plates plant have influenced the chinese market really serious.

“Spot rebar prices picked up 0.9 percent to 4,310.42 yuan a tonne on Friday, showed data from Mysteel website. “ (Reuters)

Further fire will affect 4,500-5,000 tonnes of daily output of steel. Apart from influence that it will have on Benang itself, it also leaves a mark on Benxi Iron and Steel Group Co.

Later the analysts and investors think that the incident could inspire stricter safety inspections at mills. Leading to production halts and intensifying a shortage of supply.

“Under the pressure of strict environmental policy, expectation of tight supply has offset concerns over weak demand downstream which is also likely to be affected by inspections.” (Orient Analyst)  

Observing the back up for this rebar price rise was also supported by strong manufacturing activity data released on Friday.

“The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index picking up to 6-month high.”  (



Safety checks

The potential impact of environmental and safety checks is dazzling a number of industries in the world’s second-biggest economy.

During the last week, China’s State Administration of Work Safety said it is going to carry out safety inspection in various industries.

Starting with coal, chemicals, moving to transportation, and finishing with construction inspections.

MEP announced the new round of inspections Starting in September. And will last till the end of March. The politically crucial Air quality targets.

Finishing, the steel production in smog-prone Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region will be limited during winter. Military blocks in some cities, including top steel producer Tangshan. They have been ordered to cut capacity by as much as 50 percent in polluted days.

Meanwhile, the most-traded January iron ore contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange rose nearly 1 percent to 583 yuan a tonne by 0307 GMT.

In conclusion, safety checks are to influence the market and shake all the participants.


Report On Base Metals  01/09

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Global demand

Base metals demand is boosted up and supported by the Chinese economy data, PMI index rising to 51.6, from 51.1. This morning the prices were up average 0.1%.


Nickel prices were upside than down finishing with the 0.8% gain. Following with tin price up about 0.3%, while aluminium lifts up for 0.2%.

Copper price came off 0.1%, leveling $6,812 per tonne. Lead and Zinc were off 0.2%.
Trade average Volume  is with 6,588 lots as of 07:13 BST.

The Following results are coming after Thursday. When base metals closed at average 1.2% up. Zinc yesterday rose for 2.4%. Nickel and Al were up 1.6%… Tin was little changed…


Precious metals

Prices saw a slight volatility, with gold prices at $1,320 per oz. The palladium prices are off 0.2% at $933.50 per oz.

“This came after a day of strength on Thursday when the complex closed up an average of 0.8%, helped by a reversal in intraday dollar strength on benign inflation data. “ (Fast Markets)



In The SHFE trade this morning, base metals are up across the board with average gains of 0.9%.

Nickel prices rose for 1.8%. Copper prices are lagging behind with a 0.2% gain to 52,740 yuan ($8,013) per tonne, as other metals play catch-up with it.

Changjiang spot copper prices are little changed at 52,540-52,680 yuan per tonne. While the London/Shanghai copper arb ratio is weaker at 7.74 (7.77).

Steel rebar prices on the SHFE are up a whopping 6.1%, while gold and silver prices are up by 0.7% and 0.2% respectively.

Iron ore prices, for January delivery, are up 4.5% at 584 yuan per tonne on the Dalian Commodity Exchange.


International markets


In international markets, speaking about Oil prices.. Spot Brent crude oil prices are off 0.2% at $52.64 per barrel. The yield on US ten-year treasuries has eased to 2.13%. Due to the German ten-year bund yield, which has fallen to 0.36%.


Equities in Asia are for the most part slightly firmer this morning – both the Nikkei and the ASX 200 are up 0.2%. The Hang Seng is up 0.1%, and the CSI 300 little changed, while the Kospi is off 0.2%. In the USA, the Dow Jones closed up 0.25% at 21,948.10 on Thursday.

Euro Stoxx 50 closed up 0.52% at 3,421.47.

Observing the dollar index, it spike up to 93.35 on Thursday, before closing at 92.61, it was recently quoted at 92.77 as it consolidates ahead of today’s US employment report. The report is likely to spark a reaction from traders as they adjust their view on likely Fed monetary policy. A good report could make the market think the Fed will turn more hawkish again. This could give the dollar a lift and that could weigh on metal prices.

Currencies are recent movements are: The euro at 1.1883 is correcting some of its recent gains, the yen at 110.17 is consolidating, as are sterling at 1.2915 and the Australian dollar at 0.7935.

In emerging market currencies, the yuan is stronger at 6.5809 – another sign of confidence in the economy and for the most part the other currencies we follow are flat-to-firm. Although the peso is slightly weaker.


Aluminium and nickel prices have now joined copper prices in pushing the envelope on the upside and zinc prices are close to following.  Furthermore, lead and tin prices are still lagging behind. Good data out of China and a weak dollar are supporting the firmer tones in the base metals. The recent rallies are looking quite stretched, although there have been bouts of consolidation along the way.

A huge part of metal movement depends on dollar. If it avoids rebounding, then the high price levels will likely scale up selling. Then the upside movement is about to grow.

Base Metals Market Review 31/08

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Top Things to know in market on Thursday


  • China plans safety inspections at coal mines
  • U.S. acts to finalize duties on imports of rebar from Taiwan
  • Zambia’s CEC to restore full power to Glencore’s Mopani Copper Mine
  • Brazil judge blocks decree opening Amazon area to mining
  • Vedanta Resources names ex-CEO Kaura as interim chief exec
  • South African iron ore, chrome producer Assore posts record profit due to higher prices


Base Metals 

This morning, Chinese PMI manufacturing data gave the results way better than expected. Those gave the support to the base metals market. It leveled at  51.7. Which is when compared with 51.4 previous and 51.3 expected, way better result.


Metal prices

The trade today was not so agitated, but as we observe the happenings.. The Zinc leads with 0.4% rise. Later comes copper with 0.3% rise. Pricing at $6,794 per tonne. Aluminium rose for 0.2%, while nickel was up for 0.1%.

Lead and Tin show the downwards movement, with lead lower for 0.3%, while tin is lower for 0.2%. The summary volume is average, with 6,267 lots.

Yesterday’s trade was generally weaker. It had the base metals complex close down by an average of 0.3%. It came after nickel price drop of 1%, and 0.8% fall in zinc prices.

Copper prices closed at $6,776 per tonne.

Tin had the gain of 1%, while aluminium prices changed a bit.


Precious metals

Generally, precious metal prices are lower, with gold, silver and platinum prices falling for 0.4% all. Gold spot price reached the price of $1,302.62. Palladium prices are 0.2% up, leveling $932.20.

Yesterday, the complex closed with 0.6% down.


This morning in SHFE, Nickel and Zinc prices were off by 0.4% and 0.1%. Following, the tin and copper prices came at 52,800 yuan per tonne.

“Spot copper prices in Changjiang are up 0.2% at 52,250-52,700 yuan per tonne and the London/Shanghai copper arb ratio is weaker at 7.77. “

Steel rebar prices on the SHFE are up by 0.7%, gold and silver prices are off by 0.8% and 0.7%, respectively, while January 2018 iron ore prices on the Dalian Commodity Exchange have rebounded by 3.6% to 571.50 yuan per tonne.  (FastMarkets)



Finishing with international markets, the spot Brent crude oil prices are up 0.2%. They are now at $50.70 per barrel. And the yield on US ten-year treasuries is unchanged at 2.15%. German ten-year bund yield is firmer at 0.37%.

Observing equities this morning, gains are being seen on the Nikkei (0.72%). The ASX 200 (0.79%), while loses are being seen on the Hang Seng (-0.68%), the CSI 300 (-0.42%) and on the Kospi (-0.38%). In the USA. T

The Dow Jones closed up 0.12% at 21,892.43 on Wednesday, while in Europe, the Euro Stoxx 50 closed up 0.46% at 3,403.71. (Indexes data from Fast Markets)


Grasberg Mine disputes & Valuation


Country’s point of view

Indonesia explains who got the better outcome in deals for future of the Grasberg copper mine.

Freeport agreed to divest a 51 percent stake the world’s second-biggest copper mine.

Firstly, right after the deals were concluded, Indonesia’s Energy and Finance Ministries posted on social media #FreeportTaatIndo

nesiaBerdaulat. Meaning “Freeport is submissive, Indonesia is a sovereign state”.

This grandiloquent statement explains Indonesian view of the subject. The country claims that dispute over Freeport was all about outflowing the country’s rights about mineral resources

Secondly, Indonesia feels it has a legit victory over this dispute pointing at nationalist sentiment. But having a further look at the matter, it is highly possible that additional “fights” with Freeport will take their place.

“The Phoenix, Arizona-based company explains it will divest 51 percent of PT Freeport Indonesia (PT-FI) and build a second smelter at Grasberg, in the eastern province of Papua.  And will also commit to invest up to $20 billion in the mine. “ (Reuters)


Freeport’s Angle

Following, Freeport can immediately apply for a decade of further operations. Beginning in 2021, potentially lasting till 2041. Paying tax & royalty rates during that term.

“While there are a lot of issues still to be worked on, politically this is a win for the government.” (Analyst at Jakarta-based Concord Consultin)

“It has taken on a big U.S. firm and appears to have won.” (Reuters)

Going through the Last year, Freeport offered a 10.64 percent stake in PT-FI. These values the mine at $16.2 billion while the government counter-offered at $630 million.

Freeport assumes that any Grasberg valuation should include the mineral resource. On the other hand Indonesia stays clear about the attitude that resource is essentially held by the country. Certainly not by the mine operator.

“There’s more reserves there than up to 2041 – these aren’t theirs.” (Indonesia’s Energy Minister.)

Freeport has to sell 41.64 percent of PT-FI to reach the divestment target. Adding to a 9.36 percent share the government already holds.



Indonesia hopes that the divestment would be made in one block rather than spread out and would be completed by the end of 2018.

While the company will be appointed to calculate the divestment valuation.

As Fajar Hari Sampurno said, the government is forming a consortium involving the central government and regional administrations to purchase the stake.

“The consortium will look for funding sources – it could be from equity, loans, obligations (or) pension funds.” (Reuters)

Under the law of Indonesia, the central government would have the first claim to the PT-FI stake. Followed by the country’s regional governments. State-owned enterprise or regional government enterprises would be next in line followed by private companies or a public offering for the stake.

Richard Adkerson (FP CEO)  said on Tuesday that “PT-FI shares are what we’re talking about with divestment.” And that after 2022 “PT-FI will retain its 60 percent interest in the joint venture.”

Shares of Freeport, the world’s biggest publicly listed copper miner, have dropped 6.3 percent in the two days since the announcement, closing at $14.56 on Wednesday. 

Further agitation will show the real outcomes. It is up to the Country’s decisions and aims to keep the mineral resources. It certainly is better if energy stays controlled by official organs.


LME Futures Report on Wednesday, August the 30th



LME base metal prices are staying strong, at their current levels. Nickel and copper consolidated their recent gains. It was surely expected after few days of constant growth. 

Three month copper price went loosely up, but has again fallen to the level below $6,800 per tonne.

“Copper prices have had a strong run to the upside and although we remain bullish, the current upleg is looking quite stretched now, so some consolidation seems likely, especially if the dollar rebounds.” (Metal Bulletin analyst)

“The rest of the metals have been consolidating in high ground for some time, so they may be ready to push higher and catch up with copper’s lead.”  (Fast Markets)


Observing lead volatility, it yesterday closed up for 2.6%. This morning it is trading higher, due to cancelled 5,000 tonnes in Rotterdam. Leaving on-warrant stocks at 4month low worth.  

Aluminium, nickel and zinc are all trading remotely higher and consolidating at new levels.


Copper targets higher

The three-month copper price was up $5 to $6,796.50 per tonne.

Following, the Stocks declined a further net 9,975 tonnes to 223,050 tonnes with 15,000 tonnes re-warranted in various locations. 

China’s boosting macroeconomy will continue giving support to copper prices. Especially as the forecasts are expecting a new strong demand for copper during the upcoming season.

Following, the LME stocks declined sharply,

 and that indicated a positive fundamentals for copper. It peaked the level of $6,843.50 per tonne on Tuesday.

This volatility entered the market from the Asian part, where the most-traded January copper contract on SHFE also traded higher at 52,750 yuan ($7,989) per tonne.


Metal Prices




* The three-month aluminium price was up $3.50 to $2,098.50 per tonne.

*Stocks declined 225 tonnes to 1,324,325 tonnes.


     2. NICKEL


*Nickel’s three-month price was up $10 to $11,720 per tonne. Inventories fell 1,890 tonnes to 386,550 tonnes.  “Nickel prices are under consolidation; however, there is a large chance that we will see nickel price supported in September.” (MB analyst said)


    3. ZINC  & TIN


* The three-month zinc price was up $26.50 to $3,136.50 per tonne. Stocks declined 775 tonnes to 245,375 tonnes, cancelled metal now accounts for 54% of total stock. * Lead’s three-month price edged $6 higher to $2,384 per tonne.

Most noteworthy,  stocks declined 25 tonnes to 148,675. With 5,125 tonnes freshly cancelled in Rotterdam. The three-month tin price was up $60 to $20,410 per tonne. Inventories dipped 85 tonnes to 1,890 tonnes.


Currencies & Data

Observing the value of indexes, the dollar index was up 0.24% to 92.51.

Brent crude oil spot price was down 0.91% to $51.46 per barrel. * In data on Tuesday, the August German GfK consumer climate index was a slightly better 10.9. French July consumer spending rose the anticipated 0.7% on the month, while the country’s second-quarter GDP was up 0.5% as forecast. * In US data on Tuesday, consumer confidence for August rose to 122.9, from 120.0. * The economic agenda is busy today with UK net lending to individuals, M4 money supply and mortgage approvals and US data that includes ADP non-farm employment change, preliminary second-quarter GDP and crude oil inventories of note. * In addition, US president Donald Trump is expected to lay out his plans for tax reform later today, while US Federal Open Market Committee member Jerome Powell is also speaking.


Commodities – Daily News

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Top 5 things to know in markets Today:


  1. North Korea fires missile over Japan
  2. Global stocks sinking as a result of North Korea actions
  3. Investors pile into safe-heavens
  4. Euro rises above 1,20$ for the first time since 2015 !
  5. Energy markets continuing to process Harvey hurricane consequences

Zawiya oil refinery in Libya: Not operating in full capacity

Zawiya Oil refinery is the biggest plant operating in Libya. It usually gives the outputs of 120,000 barrels per day. Starting with this week, the trend changed. It was working half capacity. At only 60,000 bpd. Influenced by the Sharara oilfield shutdown.

Sharara Oilfield had a period of its equipment close down. Due to pipeline blockade, it was not able to transfer crude to Zawiya.

This shutdown in Shahara came as a result of August 10-25th period. It is when crude distillation towers were closed .Sharara has been shut down for around a week due to military block of a pipeline linking it to the Zawiya oil terminal.

Sharara’s half capacity outputs, and its shut down led to NOC subsidiary Agoco to also shut down the 10,000 barrels per day in Hamada oil plant.

Hamada shares export infrastructure with Sharara.


Glencore Rolleston mine blocked amid corporate deals

Yesterday, Glencore announced it was looking to sell a second Australian coal mine.

“Part of the Swiss-based resource giant’s rethink on how it deploys capital as its reins in debt and commodities prices rise.”


Glencore, with its Japanese joint venture partners, Itochu Corp and Sumitomo Corp would start a “sales process” for its Rolleston mine. The mine produces thermal coal used in electricity market. 

Interesting thing is that Rolleston is geographically removed from Glencore’s main collieries. Which makes it less economic from a shipping standpoint.

Glencore corp. owns 75 percent of the Rolleston mine. Its Japanese partners each, are holding 12.5 percent. Both minority partners said they also intend to sell their interest.


Hurricane in Gulf Coast damaging Gasoline & Oil Markets

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Hurricane Harvey

During the weekend a huge hurricane hit U.S. Gulf coast!

It crippled Houston and flooded the Texas area. The port in Houston is damaged really serious and it knocked down the crude production in numerous refineries along the shore.

Gasoline prices hit two-year highs, influenced by massive floods caused by the storm. It forced U.S. Gulf Coast to ship orders from across the sea.


Oil market

Observing crude markets, U.S. futures fell. Later, U.S. refinery shutdowns could cause the reduced demand for American crude.

Brent futures also eased.

The Harvey hurricane killed at least 2 people, and it is the strongest hurricane in last half a century. It caused a Houston port closure, while it shut down numeros refineries.

“The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Monday that Harvey was moving away from the coast but was expected to linger close to the shore through Tuesday.”

“The floods would spread from Texas eastward to Louisiana.”


Oil refining in Texas 

Oil refining in Texas composes of 5.6 million barrels of refining capacity daily. Louisiana has 3.3 million barrels. The storm shut down over 2 million bpd.

“Spot prices for U.S. gasoline futures surged 7 percent to a peak of $1.7799 per gallon, the highest level since late July 2015, before easing to $1.7281 by 0703 GMT.” (Reuters)

To replace the lost outputs, and in order to avoid fuel shortage, U.S. traders were shipping cargoes from North Asia.