Monthly Metal Review

Overview

    Base metals moved higher following the Christmas holidays supported by optimism in the equities markets and a better sentiment over all for 2010. As investors seek less volatile markets, commodities rank amongst the best investments alongside those of emerging markets. The two rather closely linked as emerging markets often have a pull on both the supply and demand of commodities. Indeed India’s growth data seem to support raw materials as commodities prices appeared to struggle for direction at the beginning of the month. While the move by the United Arab Emirates bank looked to quell fears over Dubai in establishing emergency liquidity following the shockwaves of Dubai’s substantial debt. 
    Following in the emerging markets and commodities link China is coming under mounting pressure to abandon export restrictions on some strategic non-ferrous metals. The World Trade Organization (WTO) will establish a dispute panel to arbitrate all complaints regarding these rules and restrictions. Since several nations are discontent with China as it is preventing the free sale abroad of a variety of minerals and metals affecting the market by inflating world prices, while lowering material prices within China. The argument being that the various taxes that China imposes on the export of the products in question is not permitted with in China’s WTO accession agreement.
    Nevertheless the investor influx of money that supported base metals through much of 2009 should continue into 2010 and even further according to analysts. There is an expectation that more and more funds will invest in commodities over their more traditional equity or interest-rate linked investments. This is due to the strength shown in commodity asset class through the past few years.
   According to Vaugh Wickins, head of mining and metals in Standard Bank’s project finance team, there are “three canaries”, in reference to the old-fashioned gauge of oxygen in underground mines, which need to keep chirping. Firstly government bond yields, at all-time lows owing to historically low interest rates, which are driving investors in the direction of high-yield commodities investments. Second the strength of the US dollar since commodities are often seen as a hedge against dollar weakness. Last but not least oil price, which in the past has lead other commodity prices, seeing that the moderate price to date suggests that further increases could be expected. Summing up that if oil prices remain firm, with continued dollar weakness, and government bond yields remaining low, then expectations are that investors will carry on pouring in money into metals, mining and commodities in general. However if one of these canaries stops singing a brake for the surface may be advised.
    These views of expected rise in investor inflows in to commodities for 2010 were also echoed by other large institutional investors. Barclay’s survey, at the fifth annual US Commodities Investor Conference, projected the cash flow into commodities to increase to record levels through the New Year. BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research sees metal markets soaring for 2010, despite some queries of oversupply for a few metals.

Daily Prices

December 2009

Copper
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 6981.71
31-12-2009 7346
30-12-2009 7295
29-12-2009 7221
24-12-2009 7070
23-12-2009 6901
22-12-2009 6856
21-12-2009 6880
18-12-2009 6841
17-12-2009 6900.5
16-12-2009 6946
15-12-2009 6800.5
14-12-2009 6920
11-12-2009 6871
10-12-2009 6810
09-12-2009 6935
08-12-2009 6960.5
07-12-2009 6920.5
04-12-2009 7026
03-12-2009 7071
02-12-2009 7055
01-12-2009 6990
Silver
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average 17.67
31-12-2009 16.99
30-12-2009 16.92
29-12-2009 17.42
24-12-2009 17.32
23-12-2009 16.92
22-12-2009 16.95
21-12-2009 17.27
18-12-2009 17.31
17-12-2009 17.4
16-12-2009 17.6
15-12-2009 17.18
14-12-2009 17.19
11-12-2009 17.51
10-12-2009 17.39
09-12-2009 17.77
08-12-2009 18.11
07-12-2009 18.04
04-12-2009 18.83
03-12-2009 19.11
02-12-2009 19.18
01-12-2009 18.72
PM MEAN AM Gold
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average -
31-12-2009 -
30-12-2009 -
29-12-2009 -
24-12-2009 -
23-12-2009 -
22-12-2009 -
21-12-2009 -
18-12-2009 -
17-12-2009 -
16-12-2009 -
15-12-2009 -
14-12-2009 -
11-12-2009 -
10-12-2009 -
09-12-2009 -
08-12-2009 -
07-12-2009 -
04-12-2009 -
03-12-2009 -
02-12-2009 -
01-12-2009 -
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average -
31-12-2009 -
30-12-2009 -
29-12-2009 -
24-12-2009 -
23-12-2009 -
22-12-2009 -
21-12-2009 -
18-12-2009 -
17-12-2009 -
16-12-2009 -
15-12-2009 -
14-12-2009 -
11-12-2009 -
10-12-2009 -
09-12-2009 -
08-12-2009 -
07-12-2009 -
04-12-2009 -
03-12-2009 -
02-12-2009 -
01-12-2009 -
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average 1131.82
31-12-2009 1104
30-12-2009 1087.5
29-12-2009 1106
24-12-2009 1104.5
23-12-2009 1085.25
22-12-2009 1084
21-12-2009 1105.5
18-12-2009 1104.5
17-12-2009 1117
16-12-2009 1137.5
15-12-2009 1122
14-12-2009 1123.75
11-12-2009 1124
10-12-2009 1128.5
09-12-2009 1141
08-12-2009 1146.75
07-12-2009 1142.5
04-12-2009 1190.25
03-12-2009 1208.75
02-12-2009 1212.5
01-12-2009 1192.5
Lead
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 2328.52
31-12-2009 2395
30-12-2009 2397
29-12-2009 2365.5
24-12-2009 2327
23-12-2009 2300
22-12-2009 2271
21-12-2009 2320
18-12-2009 2314.5
17-12-2009 2332
16-12-2009 2368
15-12-2009 2294
14-12-2009 2291
11-12-2009 2290
10-12-2009 2260
09-12-2009 2275
08-12-2009 2256
07-12-2009 2297
04-12-2009 2345
03-12-2009 2413
02-12-2009 2445
01-12-2009 2343
Zinc
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 2375.95
31-12-2009 2570
30-12-2009 2548
29-12-2009 2510
24-12-2009 2490.5
23-12-2009 2440
22-12-2009 2386.5
21-12-2009 2408
18-12-2009 2398
17-12-2009 2360
16-12-2009 2371
15-12-2009 2276
14-12-2009 2281.5
11-12-2009 2287
10-12-2009 2265
09-12-2009 2304
08-12-2009 2291.5
07-12-2009 2301
04-12-2009 2353.5
03-12-2009 2376
02-12-2009 2374.5
01-12-2009 2303
Tin
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 15546.90
31-12-2009 16725
30-12-2009 16745
29-12-2009 16575
24-12-2009 16145
23-12-2009 15780
22-12-2009 15800
21-12-2009 15875
18-12-2009 15780
17-12-2009 15645
16-12-2009 15325
15-12-2009 15260
14-12-2009 15155
11-12-2009 15200
10-12-2009 15200
09-12-2009 15175
08-12-2009 14960
07-12-2009 14950
04-12-2009 15050
03-12-2009 15130
02-12-2009 15050
01-12-2009 14960