Week-in-Review: Tesla Kicks Off Solar Tile Sale, Interesting Times Ahead For Silver


Now’s the time to buy those solar panels you’ve been saving up for. This week, Tesla announced that it is taking orders and deposits for solar roof tiles that look stunningly like… regular roof tiles. But therein lies the appeal, and the $42-per-square-foot cost isn’t so bad either, lower than what industry analysts expected, Bloomberg reported.

Keep Your Eye on Silver

This growing interest in solar energy has been supporting the demand for silver, according to the Silver Institute’s World Silver Survey 2017, which Taras Berezowsky covered on MetalMiner this week. As Berezowsky wrote, “According to the report, silver demand for photovoltaic applications shot up 34% to reach 76.6 million ounces. This growth was the strongest since 2010, and it was driven by a 49% increase in global solar panel installations.”
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In addition, “automotive will be an interesting sector to watch,” Berezowsky wrote. Silver demand could be driven up further as the world moves towards electric vehicles — whose engines and circuit boards require silver — however slowly, as Stuart Burns noted earlier this morning.

Bearish Times

“If you are a metal buyer, it doesn’t matter if you buy aluminum, copper, steel or tin,” Raul de Frutos wrote in his commodities outlook this week. “The information in this article is important for you.” Commodities may have enjoyed a bull market in early 2016, but things appear to have shifted to the bear-ish. “Commodities not only have struggled to make new headway,” de Frutos wrote. “In the past few days they have weakened significantly. Recent moves in China have caused a significant shift of sentiment in financial markets.”

Oil prices take a dip in May. Source: MetalMiner analysis of stockcharts.com

A key commodity to watch is oil. As de Frutos wrote, “falling oil prices cause investors to move away from commodities and, of course, industrial metals. In addition, oil is the main benchmark for energy prices.” As you can see from the chart above, elevated inventories have caused oil prices to fall in May.

But Then, There’s Aluminum

No bearish sentiments here. This week, Kyle Fitzsimmons wrote about Goldman Sachs’ bullish outlook for aluminum prices, which are expected to reach $2,100 per ton in a year. And China has everything to do with it.
“Proposals based on environmental grounds to limit polluting industries in the greater Beijing area… gave a boost to the aluminum market from the moment they were first mooted last year,” Stuart Burns wrote. “This year may well be the start of the beginning of the end in unfettered investment and expansion in the Chinese aluminum industry.”
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