Monthly Metal Review

Overview

China's factory activity contracted for the first time in seven months. Faced with slowdown, China's government plans to allow private businesses a larger role. Prime Minister Li Keqiang said China would reduce the state's economy role. The Party is unlikely to privatize sectors it considers strategic, but broad proposals include expanding a natural-resources tax, gradually allowing market forces to determine bank interest rates and promoting private capital in finance, energy, railways and telecommunications.

Base metals prices were boosted by strong housing and consumer confidence data from the US on Tues-day. Single-family home prices across 20 cities rose 10.9% YoY in March, the strongest such gains seen in the last seven years, while the Conference Board's consumer confidence index posted a five-year high of 76.2 in May. However, gold prices fell.

Regional oversupply of copper concentrate due to China's boosted purchases on the spot concentrate market is drying up. Grasberg mine in Indonesia suspended operations on May 15th and shortage of raw material scrap is already affecting Chinese smelters. Rio Tinto's Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia is expected to commence copper concentrates shipments to China around June. The mine's maximum annual production is estimated to be 450'000 mt of copper and 330'000 gold oz. Approvals from Mongolian government are still awaited in order to carry material out of the mine.

The U.S Export-Import Bank approved a $500-million direct loan to help finance development of Rio Tinto's Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia.

Contract trading broke volume records at the LME and New York's Comex as April's gold-price drop sparked liquidation across assets. Equities surged in May, even as much of the Eurozone fell deeper into recession. France officially returned to recession whilst Germany managed 0.1-percent Q1 growth. The Eurozone contracted an annualized 0.8 percent in Q1, contrasting with 2.5-percent U.S. annual growth rate. The European Central Bank cut its key rating to 0.25 percent to a record-low 0.5 percent.

BHP Billiton's pared-down exploration budget will have no greenfield spending beyond copper and 2014 exploration and capital spending will fall to $18 billion. CEO Andrew Mackenzie said capital and exploration spending would peak at $22 billion this year.

Miners in Canada's Quebec province face either royalty payments or mining tax in 2014, whichever is larger. The royalty will be 1 percent of the first $80 million production; 4 percent on greater amounts. A graduated tax on profits will start at 16 percent, to 28 percent.

Japan saw robust, 3.5-percent annualized economic expansion. UK inflation slowed more than forecast to a seven-month low of 2.4 percent on-year. The Bank of England forecast 0.5-percent Q2 UK growth following a 0.3-percent Q1 rise.

Operations at Freeport McMoRan's Grasberg gold-copper mine in Indonesia were suspended after 28 miners died in a training-tunnel collapse.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said stimulus will continue, to protect recovery. He said bonds buys could gradually fall if employment shows sustainable progress. U.S. unemployment fell to a four-year low of 7.5 percent in April. Builders began new-home construction at an adjusted lower annual rate of 853'000. But building-permit applications jumped 14.3 percent to an adjusted rate of 1.02 million annually, the best since 2008. April orders for durable goods rose 3.3 percent.

Fuji Heavy Industries said it will invest $400 million to increase its U.S. capacity to manufacture Subaru autos. New-car registration in the UK increased in April for the fourteenth month, up 14.8 percent on-year. Auto sales across all EU countries fell 10 percent in the most recent figures, from March. Germany saw a 17.1-percent drop.

The UN's International Seabed Authority said companies could apply for seabed-mining licenses in 2016. The agency has issued 17 exploration permits and another seven are being considered. A spokesman said there has been a surge in interest from private and state-owned companies.

Daily Prices

May 2013

Copper
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 7229.17
31-05-2013 7241
30-05-2013 7245.5
29-05-2013 7201.5
28-05-2013 7257
24-05-2013 7240
23-05-2013 7285.5
22-05-2013 7480
21-05-2013 7384
20-05-2013 7276
17-05-2013 7329.5
16-05-2013 7095.5
15-05-2013 7095.5
14-05-2013 7195.5
13-05-2013 7350.5
10-05-2013 7390.5
09-05-2013 7311
08-05-2013 7326
07-05-2013 7240.5
03-05-2013 7122
02-05-2013 6870.5
01-05-2013 6875
Silver
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average 23.01
31-05-2013 22.57
30-05-2013 22.68
29-05-2013 22.36
28-05-2013 22.36
24-05-2013 22.38
23-05-2013 22.47
22-05-2013 22.62
21-05-2013 22.44
20-05-2013 21.66
17-05-2013 22.52
16-05-2013 22.26
15-05-2013 22.87
14-05-2013 23.44
13-05-2013 23.66
10-05-2013 23.37
09-05-2013 24.07
08-05-2013 23.86
07-05-2013 23.75
03-05-2013 24.25
02-05-2013 23.69
01-05-2013 23.97
PM MEAN AM Gold
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average 1416.13
31-05-2013 1410.25
30-05-2013 1406.25
29-05-2013 1384.5
28-05-2013 1379
24-05-2013 1385.25
23-05-2013 1386
22-05-2013 1385.25
21-05-2013 1378.5
20-05-2013 1353.75
17-05-2013 1376.75
16-05-2013 1377
15-05-2013 1412.25
14-05-2013 1436.5
13-05-2013 1429.75
10-05-2013 1449.25
09-05-2013 1469.5
08-05-2013 1454
07-05-2013 1463
03-05-2013 1476.5
02-05-2013 1456
01-05-2013 1469.5
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average 1414.82
31-05-2013 1402.375
30-05-2013 1409.875
29-05-2013 1383.5
28-05-2013 1377.75
24-05-2013 1387.75
23-05-2013 1383.25
22-05-2013 1396.875
21-05-2013 1369.625
20-05-2013 1354.25
17-05-2013 1372.75
16-05-2013 1379
15-05-2013 1411.125
14-05-2013 1435.125
13-05-2013 1430.25
10-05-2013 1437.875
09-05-2013 1467.5
08-05-2013 1461
07-05-2013 1453.625
03-05-2013 1472.875
02-05-2013 1462.625
01-05-2013 1462.125
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average 1413.50
31-05-2013 1394.5
30-05-2013 1413.5
29-05-2013 1382.5
28-05-2013 1376.5
24-05-2013 1390.25
23-05-2013 1380.5
22-05-2013 1408.5
21-05-2013 1360.75
20-05-2013 1354.75
17-05-2013 1368.75
16-05-2013 1381
15-05-2013 1410
14-05-2013 1433.75
13-05-2013 1430.75
10-05-2013 1426.5
09-05-2013 1465.5
08-05-2013 1468
07-05-2013 1444.25
03-05-2013 1469.25
02-05-2013 1469.25
01-05-2013 1454.75
Lead
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 2028.29
31-05-2013 2193
30-05-2013 2150
29-05-2013 2117
28-05-2013 2098
24-05-2013 2056
23-05-2013 2025
22-05-2013 2053.5
21-05-2013 2040.5
20-05-2013 2002
17-05-2013 2003
16-05-2013 1966.5
15-05-2013 1949
14-05-2013 1976
13-05-2013 1981
10-05-2013 1983.5
09-05-2013 2012.5
08-05-2013 2048.5
07-05-2013 2020
03-05-2013 1970
02-05-2013 1979
01-05-2013 1970
Zinc
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 1829.02
31-05-2013 1882
30-05-2013 1870
29-05-2013 1837
28-05-2013 1820
24-05-2013 1823
23-05-2013 1820.5
22-05-2013 1840.5
21-05-2013 1833.5
20-05-2013 1807
17-05-2013 1813
16-05-2013 1790
15-05-2013 1792.5
14-05-2013 1814
13-05-2013 1824
10-05-2013 1835.5
09-05-2013 1847
08-05-2013 1870.5
07-05-2013 1840.5
03-05-2013 1821.5
02-05-2013 1824
01-05-2013 1803.5
Tin
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 20725.00
31-05-2013 20825
30-05-2013 20885
29-05-2013 21005
28-05-2013 21150
24-05-2013 21125
23-05-2013 21000
22-05-2013 21500
21-05-2013 21275
20-05-2013 21000
17-05-2013 20900
16-05-2013 20625
15-05-2013 20600
14-05-2013 20650
13-05-2013 20830
10-05-2013 20775
09-05-2013 20650
08-05-2013 20385
07-05-2013 20345
03-05-2013 19975
02-05-2013 19950
01-05-2013 19775
Nickel
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 14950.95
31-05-2013 14635
30-05-2013 14650
29-05-2013 14780
28-05-2013 14830
24-05-2013 14755
23-05-2013 14755
22-05-2013 15165
21-05-2013 15035
20-05-2013 14850
17-05-2013 14855
16-05-2013 14770
15-05-2013 14830
14-05-2013 15105
13-05-2013 15235
10-05-2013 15325
09-05-2013 15335
08-05-2013 15440
07-05-2013 14965
03-05-2013 14910
02-05-2013 14770
01-05-2013 14975
Cobalt
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 27880.95
31-05-2013 28700
30-05-2013 28500
29-05-2013 27800
28-05-2013 28750
24-05-2013 28100
23-05-2013 27250
22-05-2013 27450
21-05-2013 27700
20-05-2013 28000
17-05-2013 27550
16-05-2013 28200
15-05-2013 28000
14-05-2013 28000
13-05-2013 28100
10-05-2013 28100
09-05-2013 27700
08-05-2013 27500
07-05-2013 27550
03-05-2013 27650
02-05-2013 27300
01-05-2013 27600