Monthly Metal Review

Overview

August marked the fifth year of financial woes, sparked by the U.S. sub-prime mortgage-market collapse. It spread to other nations where banks invested in sophisticated yet essentially worthless investment packages. In Q2, the eurozone economy dropped from stagnation to contraction. But European stocks at mid month were close to a five-month high, helped by better than expected GDP numbers from France and Germany, easing of euro-zone stresses, positive signs from the U.S., and sentiment that central banks are ready for more economic stimuli.

The U.S. Congressional Budget Office predicted U.S. GDP would shrink 0.5 percent next year in significant recession unless congress halts harsh, January-scheduled spending cuts and an expiration of tax cuts. Boeing took orders for 260 aircraft, the most since December. Housing showed modest gains while durable-goods orders were a bit weaker. Unemployment was essentially unchanged at 8.3 percent, but employment was up in manufacturing, professional and business services, and health care.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the government will increase efforts to boost the economy in the second half of 2012. Trade data showed miners were the heaviest losers as Chinese exports grew just 1 percent in July. Imports rose 4.7 percent. The Q2 Chinese economy expanded 7.6 percent from a year earlier as Europe’s problems reduced exports and a campaign against overheated property prices cooled domestic demand. Deutsche Bank reduced China-growth estimate for the three months through September from 7.9 percent to 7.5 percent.

Mining stocks had a thorny month, with many reporting declining profits and margins squeezed by higher costs and weaker commodity prices. One of the world's largest miners, at least by revenue, BHP Billiton mothballed its $30-billion Olympic Dam expansion in South Australia. The company announced a 35 percent drop in full-year profits to $15.4 billion after writing down assets. Revenues fell 0.7 percent to $72.2 billion. But a $24.4 billion cash flow let Billiton hike its dividend 11 percent.

Xstrata's first-half results show a 42-percent drop in operating profits to $2.5 billion, although results exceeded analysts' forecasts. It plans to spend $7.2 billion in 2012 and postpone $400 million in spending until 2013, Still, Xstrata approved a $360-million expansion of its McArthur River mine in Australia, intended as the world's biggest zinc mine.

Rio Tinto sold bonds worth $3 billion and reported first-half underlying earnings down 34 percent, to $5.2 billion. First-half profits fell 22 percent after copper, iron ore, and aluminum fell and costs rose. Net income dropped to $5.9 billion from $7.6 billion on year.

South African police shot at striking platinum workers, killing 34, at Lonmin's Marikana mine. Setting off a deep labor and political strife that is still evolving. Police said strikers, armed with clubs or machetes, charged them after drill operators refused to disperse, leading to at least 78 people being injured. Miners have been asking for a raise of some $1,000 a month, presently monthly wages are $500 to $600. The violence at these strikes sent shock waves through South Africa and the industry as a whole.

Daily Prices

August 2012

Copper
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 7492.45
31-08-2012 7576.5
30-08-2012 7611
29-08-2012 7524.5
28-08-2012 7606
24-08-2012 7600.5
23-08-2012 7667.5
22-08-2012 7571.5
21-08-2012 7510
20-08-2012 7433
17-08-2012 7496
16-08-2012 7386
15-08-2012 7386
14-08-2012 7407
13-08-2012 7426.5
10-08-2012 7430.5
09-08-2012 7495.5
08-08-2012 7525.5
07-08-2012 7567
06-08-2012 7400
03-08-2012 7327
02-08-2012 7386.5
01-08-2012 7500
Silver
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average 28.70
31-08-2012 30.52
30-08-2012 30.66
29-08-2012 30.73
28-08-2012 30.81
24-08-2012 30.37
23-08-2012 30.32
22-08-2012 29.33
21-08-2012 28.92
20-08-2012 28.1
17-08-2012 28.2
16-08-2012 27.84
15-08-2012 27.64
14-08-2012 27.84
13-08-2012 28.05
10-08-2012 27.88
09-08-2012 28.02
08-08-2012 27.84
07-08-2012 28
06-08-2012 27.72
03-08-2012 27.25
02-08-2012 27.42
01-08-2012 27.87
PM MEAN AM Gold
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average 1625.68
31-08-2012 1657.75
30-08-2012 1657
29-08-2012 1664.25
28-08-2012 1663.5
24-08-2012 1666.5
23-08-2012 1662.5
22-08-2012 1640.5
21-08-2012 1624
20-08-2012 1615.25
17-08-2012 1616.5
16-08-2012 1603.5
15-08-2012 1594.75
14-08-2012 1614.5
13-08-2012 1622.25
10-08-2012 1608.5
09-08-2012 1612.75
08-08-2012 1607
07-08-2012 1613
06-08-2012 1606.75
03-08-2012 1595
02-08-2012 1604.5
01-08-2012 1614.75
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average 1625.86
31-08-2012 1653.125
30-08-2012 1658.75
29-08-2012 1662.125
28-08-2012 1665.75
24-08-2012 1666.75
23-08-2012 1663.875
22-08-2012 1641.25
21-08-2012 1631.75
20-08-2012 1615.125
17-08-2012 1615.625
16-08-2012 1604
15-08-2012 1598.25
14-08-2012 1606.125
13-08-2012 1622.375
10-08-2012 1613.5
09-08-2012 1613.875
08-08-2012 1610.125
07-08-2012 1612
06-08-2012 1608.375
03-08-2012 1598.5
02-08-2012 1600.75
01-08-2012 1606.875
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average 1626.03
31-08-2012 1648.5
30-08-2012 1660.5
29-08-2012 1660
28-08-2012 1668
24-08-2012 1667
23-08-2012 1665.25
22-08-2012 1642
21-08-2012 1639.5
20-08-2012 1615
17-08-2012 1614.75
16-08-2012 1604.5
15-08-2012 1601.75
14-08-2012 1597.75
13-08-2012 1622.5
10-08-2012 1618.5
09-08-2012 1615
08-08-2012 1613.25
07-08-2012 1611
06-08-2012 1610
03-08-2012 1602
02-08-2012 1597
01-08-2012 1599
Lead
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 1895.75
31-08-2012 1963.5
30-08-2012 1963
29-08-2012 1959
28-08-2012 1954.5
24-08-2012 1942
23-08-2012 1921.5
22-08-2012 1905
21-08-2012 1913
20-08-2012 1871
17-08-2012 1871
16-08-2012 1816.5
15-08-2012 1835
14-08-2012 1862.5
13-08-2012 1866
10-08-2012 1889
09-08-2012 1893
08-08-2012 1896.5
07-08-2012 1899
06-08-2012 1868.5
03-08-2012 1862
02-08-2012 1868.5
01-08-2012 1886.5
Zinc
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 1813.80
31-08-2012 1806
30-08-2012 1832.5
29-08-2012 1835
28-08-2012 1847.5
24-08-2012 1836.5
23-08-2012 1829.5
22-08-2012 1804
21-08-2012 1799.5
20-08-2012 1759.5
17-08-2012 1778.5
16-08-2012 1765.5
15-08-2012 1782
14-08-2012 1793
13-08-2012 1820.5
10-08-2012 1823
09-08-2012 1845
08-08-2012 1843.5
07-08-2012 1847.5
06-08-2012 1823.5
03-08-2012 1807
02-08-2012 1808
01-08-2012 1816.5
Tin
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 18645.23
31-08-2012 19645
30-08-2012 19425
29-08-2012 20300
28-08-2012 20675
24-08-2012 20320
23-08-2012 19865
22-08-2012 18825
21-08-2012 18660
20-08-2012 18450
17-08-2012 18500
16-08-2012 18005
15-08-2012 18205
14-08-2012 18125
13-08-2012 17815
10-08-2012 17900
09-08-2012 18110
08-08-2012 18125
07-08-2012 18160
06-08-2012 17710
03-08-2012 17775
02-08-2012 17650
01-08-2012 17950
Nickel
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 15657.73
31-08-2012 15875
30-08-2012 16280
29-08-2012 16235
28-08-2012 16210
24-08-2012 16430
23-08-2012 16135
22-08-2012 15755
21-08-2012 15610
20-08-2012 15350
17-08-2012 15435
16-08-2012 15190
15-08-2012 15230
14-08-2012 15555
13-08-2012 15320
10-08-2012 15225
09-08-2012 15450
08-08-2012 15480
07-08-2012 15660
06-08-2012 15455
03-08-2012 15400
02-08-2012 15480
01-08-2012 15710
Cobalt
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 29207.27
31-08-2012 29250
30-08-2012 29250
29-08-2012 29500
28-08-2012 30000
24-08-2012 30000
23-08-2012 28500
22-08-2012 28500
21-08-2012 28750
20-08-2012 28200
17-08-2012 28250
16-08-2012 28500
15-08-2012 28010
14-08-2012 27800
13-08-2012 27500
10-08-2012 29900
09-08-2012 29900
08-08-2012 29750
07-08-2012 29500
06-08-2012 30000
03-08-2012 29500
02-08-2012 31000
01-08-2012 31000