Monthly Metal Review
- March 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
Indonesia’s government is to review and likely modify tough export restrictions on unprocessed ores, including copper, zinc, and nickel. Rules requiring min-ers to build domestic smelters were to add local value. Some smelters could be 2016-ready, but some nickel and bauxite miners shelved smelter projects on low prices. Meanwhile, restrictions cost billions in lost rev-enue.
BHP said it is preparing for a copper market in surplus until the end of the decade. It is to cut costs by another US$2.1billion this year and slash capital ex-penditure by US$3.5 billion in 2016 and 2017.
The Chamber of Mines in the Democratic Re-public of Congo, Africa’s leading copper and cobalt producer, said domestic 2015 copper production fell by 3.3 percent on-year to 995,805 tonnes, largely on a mines cutback in Katanga province. DRC is the world's largest cobalt producer.
Argentina eliminated its 5-percent tax on mining exports. The move will create a yearly US$223-million tax-revenue loss but save that for businesses. Mineral exports top US$4 billion annually.
Following a weak start to the year, oil prices re-mained low during the month of February, reaching a three week high at $ 37 at the end of the month. Con-cerns still surround the mining industry due to the strong price correlation.
The UK government is refusing to make any contingency plans in case the British people vote for Brexit, despite the campaign to leave the European Union having a four-point poll lead.
The Bank of England cut its 2016 UK eco-nomic-growth forecast from 2.5 percent to 2.2 per-cent. It lowered the 2017 forecast to 2.3-percent growth, down from 2.6. Policymakers kept interest rates at 0.5 percent. BoE said key rates will likely rise within two years, but economists said global-growth concerns and equities-market turbulence could keep rates low through 2019.
The Eurozone economy grew by an annual 1.1-percent rate in 2015’s final quarter. But unemployment was 10.4 percent. Italy’s recovery is faint;
Greece returned to recession. Still, Germany’s final-quarter growth was a modest-but-steady 0.3 percent, bringing 2015 growth to 1.7 percent, even as December industrial output fell by 1.2 percent on-month. Fourth-quarter industrial orders rose, indicat-ing early-this-year expansion.
India jumped past China as the fastest-growing major economy, expanding in 2015 by an average 7.5-percent rate, beating China’s 6.9 percent. Delhi statis-ticians predict 7.6-percent growth for the fiscal year ending in March.
China’s manufacturing-sector activity shrank for a sixth month in January. The official PMI fell to 49.4, against December's 49.7.
China’s steel industry shrank last year for the first time since 1981. Rawsteel output fell by 2.3 per-cent. But China’s January vehicle sales rose 7.7 per-cent.