Posts Tagged ‘LME’

Weekly Update 4th – 8th October 2010

Global markets closed on a mixed note in the week gone by, with Indian markets closing in positive on weekly basis. To send a message to China to raise value of its currency, the U.S. House of Representatives this week approved a bill that would let domestic companies petition for duties on imports from China to compensate for the effect of weak yuan. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said he is confident that tensions over China’s currency, the yuan, won’t lead to escalating trade sanctions or feed into a broader global currency conflict.

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European confidence in the economic outlook unexpectedly improved this month. An index of executive and consumer sentiment in the 16 euro nations rose to 103.2, the highest since January 2008, from a revised 102.3 in August. The European Commission forecasted a more “moderate” expansion in the second half of the year as governments from Ireland to Portugal step up spending cuts to push down deficits. ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said that there is “continuing uncertainty” about the outlook.

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China’s manufacturing expanded at the fastest pace in four months in September. According to China’s logistics federation and statistics bureau, the purchasing managers’ index rose to 53.8 from 51.7 in August. The data is viewed very positively by the market as it shows that China’s economic momentum may counter weakness in the global recovery. It is believed that growth may be further aided in coming months as government plans to speed the completion of stimulus projects and boost public housing construction.

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In Japan, the jobless rate fell to 5.1 percent from 5.2 percent. After intervening few days back in the foreign exchange market in order to stem the yen appreciation, Japan’s Finance Minister reiterated that Japan is ready to keep intervening after selling yen for the first time in six years last month.

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Core infrastructure industry that account for 26.7 percent of industrial output in India slowed to 3.7 per cent in August, as compared to 6.4 per cent in the same month last year. Going forward we expect the markets would remain firm as it is supported by strong portfolio investments. The best strategy to ride the tide would be stay invested. Nifty has support between 5940-5870 and Sensex between 19640-
19200 levels.

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Bullions may continue to lead the charge in the commodities counter as both silver and gold recently tested life time highs in MCX. The latest boon to the metal has been increasing expectations that the Federal Reserve will further ease monetary policy with measures including the purchase of Treasuries. Jitters about European sovereign debt problems have also supported gold higher as a safe-haven investment. Better jobless claims data and a revised upward GDP in US supported the crude counter which can make further gains in next coming week. Base metals will take cues from LME as China markets will remain closed for a week. In agro counter pulses along with oilseeds may trade in range while spices can get some support from upcoming festive season. Mentha oil firm export demand and low crop will assist the prices to make fresh high in MCX.

ALUMINIUM… “PRICES ON ONE-WAY TRACK”

Aluminium is a silvery white and dull gray coloured, and the third most abundant element in the Earth’s crust after oxygen and silicon. In nature, it only exists in very stable combinations. Due to its strong affinity to oxygen, it is always found in the form of oxides or silicates. The chief source of aluminium is bauxite ore. Aluminum is lightweight, ductile and soft. Its density is only 1/3 of steel. Aluminum is resistant to weather, common atmospheric gases and a wide range of liquids.

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Global Scenario

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Aluminium ore, bauxite, occurs mainly in tropical and sub-tropical areas – Africa, West Indies, South America and Australia. The leading producing countries are United States, Russia, Canada, the European Union, China, Australia, Brazil, Norway, South Africa, Venezuela, the Gulf States (Bahrain and United Arab Emirates), India and New Zealand. Together they constitute more than 90 percent of the world primary aluminium production. The largest aluminium markets are North America, Europe and East Asia.

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Indian Scenario

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India is the fifth largest producer of aluminium in the world with production capacity of about 3 per cent of the world. India’s reserves are estimated to be 7.5 per cent of the total deposits. India is self dependent for aluminium supply and exports about 82,000 tonnes annually. The primary Indian aluminium producers were BALCO, NALCO, HINDALCO and MALCO.

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India’s per capita consumption of aluminium is 1 kg as against 30 kg in the developed world.

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World Aluminium Markets

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LME, TOCOM, SHFE and NYMEX are the important international markets that provide direction to the aluminium prices.In 2009, aluminium prices gained about 40% with the global combination of stimulus packages and the rapid recovery in demand in emerging markets. The prices and inventory level of metal in international market, such as LME and SHFE, influences the domestic market.

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Facts & Figures

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·World aluminum output in March rose 13% on the month to 2.045 million metric tonnes, according to figures released by the International Aluminum Institute.

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·Primary aluminium stocks in China, the world’s top consumer and producer of the metal, have risen more than 45 percent from January on increased production.

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·Brazil’s output of primary aluminum dropped 0.9% on the year in March to 131,700 metric tons.

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·Global demand rose by 29% in January and February compared with the very depressed levels recorded a year ago.

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Price Movement

Despite the poor news stemming from Euro weakness on Greek debt woes and monetary tightening in China, aluminium halted its downturn and traded sideways for most of last week.

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Most other base metals also traded sideways to higher last week, and aluminium continues to be strongly correlated with copper. Swollen inventories are no longer a problem for the aluminium market, as global demand is helping to push up alumininum prices (arrow line).

COPPER…WHAT’S REALLY DRIVING THE PRICE?

Copper is a reddish brown non-ferrous mineral which has been used for thousands of years by many cultures. The metal is closely related with silver and gold, with many properties being shared among these metals. With world population and development on the increase, demand for copper is expected to continue to build well beyond current annual consumption to:

•conducting electricity and heat

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•communications

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•transporting water and gas

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•roofing, gutters and downspouts

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•protecting plants and crops, and as a feed supplement and

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•Making statues and other forms of art.

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World copper consumption is expected to grow 5.4 per cent this year, led by China which is expected to buy nearly 40 per cent of global output, industry experts told the World Copper Conference on 8th April, 2010.

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Primary copper production starts with the extraction of copper bearing ores. There are three basic ways of copper mining: surface, underground mining and leaching.

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Open-pit mining is the predominant mining method in the world. These are the top ten ranked mining countries.

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IN THE GLOBALEXCHANGES

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Three commodity exchanges provide the facilities to trade copper: The London Metal Exchange (LME), the Commodity Exchange Division of the New York Mercantile  Exchange (COMEX/NYMEX) and the Shanghai Metal Exchange (SHME). In these exchanges, prices are settled by bid and offer, reflecting the market’s perception of supply and demand of a commodity on a particular day. Exchanges also provide for warehousing facilities that enable market participants to make or take physical delivery of copper in accordance with each exchange’s criteria.

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FACTS

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The average LME futures price for March 2010 was US$7,790 per tonne, almost double from the March 2009 average of US$4,040 per tonne. The 2010 high and low copper prices through the end of March were US$7,870 and US$7,265 per tonne, respectively. As of the end of March 2010, copper stocks held at the major metal exchanges LME, totalled 514325 tonnes.

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ICGS PREDICTIONS

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As per ICSG press release on 1st February 2010 & based on existing facilities and announced project developments, annual mine production capacity in the period 2009-2013 is expected to grow at an average rate of around 4.3% per year (%/yr) to reach 23.1 Mt in 2013, an increase of around 3.6 Mt (19%) from that in 2009.

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CURRENT SCENARIO

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Copper hit a 20-month high above $8,000 a tonne on 6th April,2010, after reports showed manufacturing expanded in India, the US and Europe, as well as China, and after US payrolls expanded by the most in three years. Most gains were driven by upbeat employment data out of the U.S., which led markets to view the state of the world’s largest economy in a more positive light. Slow but sure decreases in LME inventories provided added signs of a recovering physical market. Again, pulling back from a 20-month high copper looks uncomfortable at $7850 along with copper futures at MCX tracking overseas markets and a firm rupee.

Weekly Update 5th-9th April

Domestic markets continued to build on the gains for the eighth consecutive week. The undertone remained buoyant as the growth signs are becoming clearer. A closer look on the gains gives impression that emerging economies would continue as a favorite investment destination. Hopes of good result season, continued buying by foreign institutional investors & recent upgrade of India’s credit rating are some of the factors that are keeping up the investment momentum in the market. On the global front, in US the recent payroll data has further boosted the confidence among the investors as it looks the deepest recession has ended.

Payrolls, a major indicator rose by 162,000 workers, the third gain in the past five months and the most since March 2007. Home prices in US unexpectedly rose in January for an eighth month. Home prices in 20 US cities rose 0.3% in January, indicating the housing market is stabilizing as the economy expands.

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According to some estimates US economy probably grew by 2.8 percent in the first quarter of 2010 after a 5.6 percent pace of expansion in the fourth quarter of 2009. Apart from the tightening in monitory policy by RBI the other trigger for the markets would be monsoon forecast. A healthy monsoon would improve agriculture output & thereby rural incomes. It would also be crucial from the inflation point of view, as it is still a worry factor & may affect the growth momentum.

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Tokyo-based Research Institute for Global Change has predicted normal monsoon rains in India for the current year. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issues a monsoon forecast, usually in the second half of April after considering weather observations in different parts of the world and extrapolating statistical data.

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Overall trend of world stock markets is up and Commodities which were under pressure some time back also had a good rally last week. It seems now the mid cap and small cap are leading with mainline Nifty or Sensex lagging behind. The global liquidity is leading to various asset classes being chased by investors at every reaction. Nifty has support between 5150-5050 levels and Sensex between 17200-16800 levels.

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Firm U.S., Chinese and European manufacturing figures along with decline in SHFE and LME stockpiles may continue to keep the base metals on upbeat note. Lack of clear risk sentiment may keep gold directionless. Drop in U.S. jobless claims may lend further support to crude prices. Oil prices have risen about 23 percent from early February as the industrial sector leads a gradual recovery in the US economy. Possible new round of sanctions against Iran, maybe within weeks rather than months, could be underpinning the crude market.

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Spices pack may extend further gains while oilseeds may witness some short covering.

COMMODITY WEEKLY COMMENTARY

Most of the commodities finished lower last week on heavy profit booking. Recent bounce back in dollar index compelled commodity traders to quit their long positions. However, some commodities viz., aluminum, nickel and natural gas moved on their own fundamentals and ignored the upside of dollar index. Threat of closure of two mines of Alcoa amid the concern that about three quarters of LME  stockpiles have been tied up by long term financing deals by traders and merchants, raised the premium
on aluminum, sent aluminum prices higher.

Likewise, nickel surged on lower level buying. Rest of the  base metals erased their previous gains to some extent on rise in dollar index amid some negative data.

Gold and silver gave up their previous gain due to the improvement in dollar value. However, recent fall in gold prices brought back smile on consumers face and there is an expectation that import will increase. Negative data, fall in GDP of Japanese economy, higher dollar amid expectation of slower demand of crude in 2010 by EIA hammered crude oil prices and it touched two months low. On the contrary, natural gas jumped on increased seasonal demand. Cold snaps in northwest and Midwest revived the demand of natural gas and it recovered across the bourses, where natural gas is used 72% for heating purpose.

Coming to agro commodities, bears completely dominated all commodities. Selling pressure was witnessed throughout the week. Some short covering in many agro commodities witnessed on Friday.
Less demand from processors amid declining export queries exerted pressure on guar complex. Oil seeds and edible oil complex reacted on improvement in dollar amid new crop estimation by Brazil and Argentina generated selling in futures as well spot market across the board. Fall in crude oil prices gave further pressure on prices. Spices made lower trading range last week. Higher Indian parity, lower export queries in the middle of subdued domestic demand compelled spices to trade low.

Speculative activities in turmeric were on high last week. Throughout the week, December contract traded into upper circuits and April contracts traded moreover on lower side, which increased the gap between contracts to more than 3400 level. Wheat futures cooled down owing to increased supply in spot market. Crushing season of sugarcane has already started which has led to a nonstop decline since last three weeks.