Goldman Sachs Flips, Joins the Copper Bulls

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Changes in the outlook for copper’s supply-demand balances that drove a recent rally in prices support a more “bullish” environment for the metal at least until mid-2017, Goldman Sachs said in note to investors last week.

Two-Month Trial: Metal Buying Outlook

“Although it is tempting to blame this on speculative positioning, the materially stronger fundamental developments that contributed to this surge in speculative interest are likely to underpin a more bullish environment for copper,” Goldman analysts wrote in a note dated Sunday. It’s a flip-flop for Goldman which was previously a copper super-bear.

Steel Imports in November

Based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported recently that steel import permit applications for the month of November totaled 2,862,000 net tons. This was a 1.2% decrease from the 2,895,000 permit tons recorded in October and a 5.5% increase from the October final imports total of 2,713,000 nt.

Import permit tonnage for finished steel in November was 2,274,000, up 0.8% from the final imports total of 2,256,000 in October. For the first eleven months of 2016 (including November SIMA permits and October final data), total and finished steel imports were 30,379,000 nt and 24,322,000 nt, down 16.5% and 17.3%, respectively, from the same period in 2015. The estimated finished steel import market share in November was 27% and is 26% on the year-to-date.

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