Week-in-Review: The Tenacity of The Copper Roach and Who Wants Putin’s Palladium?

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Defying all price logic, copper has weathered the storms of bad Chinese economic outlooks, a sub-prime-style lending scandal involving it as double-booked collateral, and even disappointing housing outlooks in the US as well as biggest customer China.

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Copper has shown the tenacity of the cockroach this week.

Copper has shown the tenacity of the cockroach this week.

Beset by a year of low prices and even worse economic news, copper has emerged as the unkillable cockroach of industrial metals just biding its time until we’re all gone and it can rebuild civilization along with fellow unkillable Keith Richards. Somehow, copper keeps getting up off the mat. Just this week Chinese investors showed faith in its outlook for 2015.

MetalMiner Editor-At-Large Stuart Burns pointed out that a lot of copper’s resilience has to do with inventory levels. “One of the support factors is LME stocks, which are at their lowest level since 2000,” he wrote, “with current headline inventory of 153,700 tons close to 6-year lows, while available tonnage, excluding metal that has been canceled prior to physical drawdown, is lower still at 116,600 tons.”

Now, if copper is able to keep its value through Q4 it’s actually looking at a nice price jump if the US and Chinese housing markets rebound in 2015.

Norilsk Looks to Buy Platinum From Russia, Itself

How hot has palladium been this year? Now Norilsk Nickel and its CEO/Co-Owner Vladimir Potanin want to buy it directly from Russia’s central bank. So convinced is Potanin that prices will go up next year that he’s willing to gather investors and put his own money into the deal. Norilsk is the world’s largest nickel and palladium producer.

Just how much palladium is in the Russian Federation’s vaults is anybody’s guess, but if President Vladimir Putin is willing to sell it, and Potanin is willing to buy, then there must be a healthy amount of the precious metal available for investment in 2015. This would be like the Federal Reserve selling Warren Buffett or some other industrialist some of the gold in Fort Knox.

Still Always On Dump Watch!

anti-dumping-watch-with-titleIn the ongoing fight over imports of grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES), the Czech Republic was this week’s big loser, netting out tariffs of 13.76 to 35.96% for its GOES imports to the USA. The Czechs can still, however, appeal their Commerce Department ruling to the US International Trade Administration.

In non-metal news, the Commerce Department also saved us from cheap(er)imports of Chinese and Indonesian monosodium glutamate this week. The next time you chow down on the addictive food additive know that there’s now a greater chance that it’s good ol’ American MSG you’re eating.

We remain ever vigilant here at Dump Watch.

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