BHP Billiton Posts Strong Output; Copper Cash Price Declines

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“BHP Billiton posted strong quarterly iron ore, coal and copper output, putting it in a position to meet shareholder pressure for higher capital returns as spending on new projects winds down,” reports Reuters.

“However, any capital return may not come before the 2015 financial year starting in July as the the world’s biggest miner looks to build up more cash from recently completed projects, and as iron prices start to ease, according to analysts.”

“‘I think it’s not likely a calendar 2014 story, more likely 2015,’ said Ben Lyons, an analyst at ATI Asset Management, which owns shares in BHP. ‘The key determinant will be commodity prices and currencies.'” Read on…

In metal price news for copper…

On Tuesday, January 21, the day’s biggest mover was the copper cash price, which saw a 0.6 percent decline on the LME to $7,335 per metric ton. After improving for two days, the 3-month price of copper declined 0.5 percent on the LME to $7,305 per metric ton.

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Following two days of downward movement, the price of US copper producer grade 122 held steady. The Japanese copper cash price remained essentially flat. The price of US copper producer grade 102 steadied following two-days of dropping prices. After a couple of days of decreasing prices, the price of US copper producer grade 110 held steady.

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Chinese copper prices were down for the day. The price of Chinese copper bar declined 0.6 percent. The cash price of Chinese copper weakened by 0.6 percent. Chinese bright copper scrap prices saw a 0.4 percent decline. Chinese copper wire closed 0.4 percent lower.