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Archive for February, 2010

Metal News, Steel Prices

February 22, 2010

Stainless Steel Prices Raised in Korea

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It was reported that Korea’s BNG Steel has raised its stainless steel prices for February.

The company was bringing up its stainless steel 300 series prices by 117,000 won/ton. The company’s 304 prices rose to 3.92 million won/ton from 3.803 million won/ton, while 430 prices remained unchanged.

Posco also raised prices by up to 3.3 percent for February due to rising raw material prices.

Metal News, Steel Prices

China Start Restructuring Steel Sector

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It was reported from China Daily that China is to speed up restructuring in the steel sector.

Chinese top five major steel mills are facing long-standing problems of overcapacity and low industry concentration.

According to data from 2010 steel industry council meeting, the 2009 output of China’s 5 biggest steel mills only accounted for 29 percent of the national total and much lower than the 45 percent goal set by the State Council for 2011.

Chinese government has set up a goal of further optimizing the industry structure China’s steel sector and strengthening its competitiveness in the international market from this year.

Metal News

Chinese Investment in Africa Grow Significantly

It was said from Kobus van der Wath, founder and md of Beijing Axis that Chinese investment in Africa and other regions is growing significantly and could reach $100 billion in 2010. “China overtook Japan to become the second biggest economy and is becoming an important investor overseas from a low base,” he told delegates. As private consumption spending represents only 30%.

Copper, Lead, Nonferrous Metal, Nonferrous Metals Prices

February 21, 2010

Base Metals Rise, Lead Price Get Double-digit Gains

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It was reported from NEW YORK on 19 February that the base metals complex ended its gangbuster week in solidly positive territory on Friday, with some metals logging double-digit gains on the back of improved market sentiment and rising inflation pressures.

Lead recorded the biggest gain, soaring 10.4 percent over the course of the week to close second-ring trade on the London Metal Exchange at $2,319 per tonne on Friday. Nickel and zinc also registered sizable weekly gains, climbing 9.8 percent and 7.5 percent to $20,300/$20,310 (bid/ask) and $2,290 per tonne, respectively.

Copper was up 6.6 percent week-on-week at $7,223 per tonne, while March futures prices on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 8.9 percent to close at $3.357 per pound vs. $3.0825 one week earlier.

Tin was up 4.6 percent on the week to close.

Metal News, Nonferrous Metal

LME Make Effort for Baltic Alliance


It was reported that the London Metal Exchange launched a fresh effort on Friday to agree an alliance with the Baltic Exchange with a formal proposal to unite two of the City of London’s most historic financial institutions and transform global freight trading.

The LME suggested a new exchange – the London Baltic FFA Exchange – should be created as a joint venture between it and the Baltic. The joint venture proposed by the LME would bring the trading of Forward Freight Agreements on-exchange. FFAs, the contracts that allow parties to hedge the costs associated with shipping freight, are currently traded in a telephone, over-the counter market. The Baltic Exchange provides the benchmark indices used to price and settle FFAs.

Donald Brydon, LME chairman, said: “This proposal commands some compelling logic for expanding the FFA market in a joint venture with the LME. Our original approaches, based on electronic trading on a regulated exchange, are now even more relevant given the regulatory and political pressures all OTC markets are facing.”

A spokesman for the Baltic Exchange said the LME’s proposals would be “carefully considered”, after an initial approach last year met with a frosty reception.

Gold, Nonferrous Metal, Nonferrous Metals Prices

February 20, 2010

IMF Announced to Block the Gold Bullion

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It was reported that the International Monetary Fund sold 200 metric tons of gold to India last year for about $6.7 billion. All told, the IMF has sold some 212 metric tons of gold to central banks since September 2009 out of a total authorized 403.3 metric tons. That is about one-eighth of the IMF’s total gold holdings.

The IMF has announced that it would sell the remaining 191.3 metric tons on the open market. The sales will be phased to avoid disrupting the gold market. The announcement caused a sharp dip in spot gold prices this morning, to under $1,100 per ounce on the London market. Prices have recovered since then to about $1,119 per ounce.

The IMF is selling the gold to accomplish two goals. First, the IMF is using the proceeds of the sales to establish an endowment that it will use to produce income to cover its administrative expenses. Second, to generate more resources to fund a $17 billion loan fund for low-income countries, primarily Africa, that have suffered the most from the global financial crisis.

The World Gold Council has reported that demand for gold fell by 11% worldwide in 2009, while prices were up 12%. In the fourth quarter of 2009, gold averaged $1,099.63 per ounce, up 38% from the same period a year ago.

The growth in gold demand came mainly from ETFs like SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), iShares Comex Gold Trust (IAU) and PowerShares DB Gold (DGL). ETF demand for gold in 2009 topped 594 metric tons, up 85% from 2008. Almost half that growth came in the first quarter, when everyone thought the world was going to hell in a handbasket and piled into gold. By the fourth quarter, demand from the ETFs had fallen to just 31.6 metric tons.

Going forward, if the economic recovery falters, gold will once again play its role as a safe haven. If the recovery strengthens, gold will assume its role as an inflation hedge. Either way, the demand for gold is likely to increase.

The IMF’s gold sales are not likely to have much impact, either long-term or short-term on the spot price of gold. The dollar value is just too small. Sure, 191 metric tons sounds like a lot, but it’s probably only around $6 billion worth of gold. That just isn’t enough to swing the gold market much one way or another.

Lead, Nonferrous Metal, Nonferrous Metals Prices

LME Official Lead Prices (US$/tonne) for 19 Feb 2010

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Lead (US/ton)
CASH BUYER 2238.00
3-MONTHS BUYER 2266.00
15-MONTHS BUYER 2268.00
15-MONTHS SELLER 2273.00
27-MONTHS BUYER 2223.00
27-MONTHS SELLER 2228.00

Nonferrous Metal, Nonferrous Metals Prices, Zinc

LME Official Zinc Prices (US$/tonne) for 19 Feb 2010

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Zinc (US/ton)
CASH BUYER 2250.00
3-MONTHS BUYER 2276.50
15-MONTHS BUYER 2308.00
15-MONTHS SELLER 2313.00
27-MONTHS BUYER 2293.00
27-MONTHS SELLER 2298.00

Nickel, Nonferrous Metal, Nonferrous Metals Prices

LME Official Nickel Prices (US$/tonne) for 19 Feb 2010

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Nickel (US/ton)
CASH BUYER 20230.00
3-MONTHS BUYER 20300.00
3-MONTHS SELLER 20325.00
15-MONTHS BUYER 20225.00
15-MONTHS SELLER 20325.00
27-MONTHS BUYER 19850.00
27-MONTHS SELLER 19950.00

Nonferrous Metal, Nonferrous Metals Prices, Tin

LME Official Tin Prices (US$/tonne) for 19 Feb 2010

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Tin (US/ton)
CASH BUYER 16645.00
3-MONTHS BUYER 16675.00
3-MONTHS SELLER 16680.00
15-MONTHS BUYER 16695.00
15-MONTHS SELLER 16745.00
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