Monthly Metal Review

Overview

April ended with now predictable uncertainty in the Eurozone. Anxiety producing bumps in the road this time around include concern over the outcome of the French presidential election, The Netherlands' coalition-government collapse, Britain's double-dip recession, and caution over gasoline and Eurozone debt problems.

Notably in Spain, Standard & Poor's dropped the country’s long-term credit from A to BBB-plus. The euro shed half a cent on the news. BBB is investment-grade, but will make borrowing more expensive.

Equities bounced back toward April’s end, buoyed by a healthy global corporate earnings season and market satisfaction with quiet actions by the US Federal Reserve. Stocks remained higher in April and United States Treasury yields inched up, helped both by predictions from the Fed that the US economy will improve gradually in the coming year and a Fed promise to hold interest rates at record lows through at least 2014.

Leading commodity hedge funds were bullish on industrial metals, reportedly expecting a stronger global economy in the second half of the year to lift the likes of copper and iron ore.

China's first quarter 2012 growth data showed the economy expanded 8.1 percent from the same period last year. Much of the rest of the world would welcome growth that dynamic, but China had hoped for 8.4 percent growth. Rocketing borrowing rates have tempered 2012 growth, now targeted at 7.5 percent. With Beijing concentrating on domestic demand, China needs stunning amounts of raw material. Analysts say China is still the future for miners, especially with turn of financial liberalization.

The central bank reported that Chinese banks issued $160 billion in loans in March, well above expectations. Consumer products like appliances and cars for billions of new consumers will require metals for production.

The LME may let traders settle contracts in Renminbi, the official Chinese currency, as China accounts for more than 40 percent of global demand for most metals and an increasing share of trading in LME futures. Settling and clearing trades can currently be done in euro, yen, or sterling. The exchange will keep its benchmark dollars but members are asked if they want the Renminbi added and sterling dropped. China's central bank let the Renminbi fluctuate more against the dollar during daily trading; as much as 1 percent against a bank-fixed benchmark. The former limit was 0.5.

In London at mid-month, crude oil fell to near $102 a barrel after negotiators said meetings over Iran's nuclear program began on a positive note, easing tensions that sent crude higher. The sides agreed to meet again May 23 in Baghdad. Concern that a military strike by Israel and the US against Iran's nuclear facilities would disrupt global crude supplies helped push crude up from $75 in October.

A display at the British Museum in London showcases stories of the 4,700 gold, silver, and bronze medals to be won this summer at the Olympic and Paralympics games. Four 400-gram gold medals designed for the 2012 games are part of the exhibition, from gold provided by Rio Tinto and crafted by the Royal Mint. The exhibit also includes shavings, ancient medallions, molds and award objects from past games.

Daily Prices

April 2012

Copper
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 8259.63
30-04-2012 8529.5
27-04-2012 8443.5
26-04-2012 8356
25-04-2012 8285.5
24-04-2012 8194
23-04-2012 8125
20-04-2012 8120.5
19-04-2012 8045.5
18-04-2012 8085
17-04-2012 8100.5
16-04-2012 8054
13-04-2012 8165.5
12-04-2012 8185
11-04-2012 8115
10-04-2012 8256
05-04-2012 8365.5
04-04-2012 8451.5
03-04-2012 8575.5
02-04-2012 8480
Silver
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average 31.55
30-04-2012 31.2
27-04-2012 31.14
26-04-2012 30.7
25-04-2012 30.88
24-04-2012 30.86
23-04-2012 31.16
20-04-2012 31.79
19-04-2012 31.47
18-04-2012 31.61
17-04-2012 31.64
16-04-2012 31.32
13-04-2012 32.37
12-04-2012 31.47
11-04-2012 31.7
10-04-2012 31.55
05-04-2012 31.27
04-04-2012 31.98
03-04-2012 32.97
02-04-2012 32.42
PM MEAN AM Gold
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average 1648.54
30-04-2012 1662.5
27-04-2012 1654
26-04-2012 1648.25
25-04-2012 1641.25
24-04-2012 1638.75
23-04-2012 1632
20-04-2012 1640
19-04-2012 1642
18-04-2012 1646.5
17-04-2012 1652
16-04-2012 1648.25
13-04-2012 1670.5
12-04-2012 1655.5
11-04-2012 1654
10-04-2012 1643.75
05-04-2012 1622.5
04-04-2012 1631.75
03-04-2012 1674.75
02-04-2012 1664
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average 1649.30
30-04-2012 1656.875
27-04-2012 1658.75
26-04-2012 1650.875
25-04-2012 1639.5
24-04-2012 1644.125
23-04-2012 1630.5
20-04-2012 1640.75
19-04-2012 1646
18-04-2012 1645.25
17-04-2012 1643.75
16-04-2012 1650.625
13-04-2012 1668.5
12-04-2012 1662
11-04-2012 1656
10-04-2012 1643.875
05-04-2012 1626.75
04-04-2012 1626.375
03-04-2012 1675.5
02-04-2012 1670.75
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average 1650.07
30-04-2012 1651.25
27-04-2012 1663.5
26-04-2012 1653.5
25-04-2012 1637.75
24-04-2012 1649.5
23-04-2012 1629
20-04-2012 1641.5
19-04-2012 1650
18-04-2012 1644
17-04-2012 1635.5
16-04-2012 1653
13-04-2012 1666.5
12-04-2012 1668.5
11-04-2012 1658
10-04-2012 1644
05-04-2012 1631
04-04-2012 1621
03-04-2012 1676.25
02-04-2012 1677.5
Lead
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 2063.05
30-04-2012 2156
27-04-2012 2127
26-04-2012 2113
25-04-2012 2083
24-04-2012 2080
23-04-2012 2087
20-04-2012 2100
19-04-2012 2039.5
18-04-2012 2042
17-04-2012 2066
16-04-2012 2033.5
13-04-2012 2073
12-04-2012 2081
11-04-2012 2019
10-04-2012 2038
05-04-2012 1994
04-04-2012 2014
03-04-2012 2045
02-04-2012 2007
Zinc
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 1996.74
30-04-2012 2039.5
27-04-2012 2032
26-04-2012 2012.5
25-04-2012 1991
24-04-2012 1988.5
23-04-2012 1985.5
20-04-2012 1999.5
19-04-2012 1985
18-04-2012 1981
17-04-2012 1988.5
16-04-2012 1990
13-04-2012 2012.5
12-04-2012 2021
11-04-2012 1985.5
10-04-2012 1998
05-04-2012 1975.5
04-04-2012 1986.5
03-04-2012 1994
02-04-2012 1972
Tin
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 22091.58
30-04-2012 22625
27-04-2012 22405
26-04-2012 22495
25-04-2012 21700
24-04-2012 21390
23-04-2012 21065
20-04-2012 21255
19-04-2012 21060
18-04-2012 21170
17-04-2012 21250
16-04-2012 21650
13-04-2012 22650
12-04-2012 22625
11-04-2012 22650
10-04-2012 22850
05-04-2012 22500
04-04-2012 22550
03-04-2012 23100
02-04-2012 22750
Nickel
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 17897.37
30-04-2012 17835
27-04-2012 18255
26-04-2012 17965
25-04-2012 17485
24-04-2012 17600
23-04-2012 17595
20-04-2012 17750
19-04-2012 17605
18-04-2012 17720
17-04-2012 17755
16-04-2012 17945
13-04-2012 18400
12-04-2012 18200
11-04-2012 17925
10-04-2012 18010
05-04-2012 17865
04-04-2012 18035
03-04-2012 18325
02-04-2012 17780
Cobalt
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 30889.47
30-04-2012 30750
27-04-2012 30700
26-04-2012 30700
25-04-2012 30700
24-04-2012 31000
23-04-2012 30300
20-04-2012 31500
19-04-2012 30500
18-04-2012 30500
17-04-2012 31000
16-04-2012 31000
13-04-2012 31000
12-04-2012 31250
11-04-2012 31000
10-04-2012 31000
05-04-2012 30500
04-04-2012 31500
03-04-2012 31000
02-04-2012 31000