Author Archives: MetalMiner IndX Reports

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Automotive MMI® was the cash price of primary copper, which saw a 7.8% increase on the LME to $6,134 per metric ton. This comes on the heels of a 1.6% decline the week prior. The copper 3-month price rose 7.7% on the LME to $6,110 per metric ton after falling 1.4% during the previous week. The price of Chinese lead rose 1.2% to CNY 12,550 ($2,020) per metric ton after falling 0.4% during the previous week. Korean 5052 coil premium over 1050 sheet prices held steady from the previous week at KRW 4,010 ($3.64) per kilogram.

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The price of US HDG dropped 1.1% this week, closing out the third consecutive week of falling prices at $639.00 per short ton.

The price of US platinum bar rose 2.5% to $1,141 per ounce after falling 0.2% during the previous week. At $763.00 per ounce, the price of US palladium bar finished the week down 2.1%.

The Automotive MMI® collects and weights 7 metal price points used in automotive production to provide a unique view into automotive metal trends. For more information on the Automotive MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

The US dollar weakened and eased concerns about its impact on corporate profits, while the euro recovered from a 12-year low in trading today.

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After months of strong jobs data, expectations have been growing that the Federal Reserve would signal a June rate rise at a meeting that begins on Tuesday. A stronger dollar erodes purchasing power for commodities. That, plus questions over China’s economic growth after comments by Premier Li Keqiang added headwinds to copper, analyst Joel Crane of Morgan Stanley in Melbourne told Reuters.

“What we’ve seen on China’s data indicators so far is fairly negative, so it’s not surprising that people would be worried about whether the post-New Year recovery is underway,” Crane said.

Premier Li vowed to keep China’s economy growing at a reasonable speed, even as he also said authorities could do more to stoke growth, which triggered a rally in Chinese equities.

The prospect of more Chinese stimulus, and a rise in interest rates in the US, helped copper to a weekly gain. Prices have been gaining ground as China’s factories ramp up after the Lunar New Year, climbing from 5-1/2 year lows of under $5,400 a metric t0n in January, but slowing economic growth and ample refined supply has blunted momentum.

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Copper MMI® was the price of Chinese copper wire, which saw a 0.8% increase to CNY 42,780 ($6,832) per metric ton. This comes on the heels of a 0.5% decline the week prior. The price of Chinese copper bar rose 0.7% to CNY 43,620 ($6,966) per metric ton after falling 0.5% during the previous week. The cash price of Chinese copper rose 0.7% to CNY 43,820 ($6,998) per metric ton after falling 0.5% during the previous week. Closing at CNY 33,400 ($5,334) per metric ton, Chinese bright copper scrap remained unchanged for the week.

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Following a 1.4% increase in the week prior, the cash price of primary Japanese copper fell 0.3% last week to JPY 722,000 ($5,951) per metric ton. The price of US copper producer grade 122 remained steady from the previous week at $3.39 per pound. Korean copper strip prices held steady from the previous week at KRW 8,619 ($7.62) per kilogram. Following a steady week, prices for the price of US copper producer grade 102 closed flat at $3.58 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 110 closed at $3.39 per pound after a flat week.

The copper 3-month price rose 0.4% on the LME to $5,850 per metric ton after falling 1.4% during the previous week. The primary copper cash price rose 0.2% on the LME to $5,865 per metric ton after falling 1.3% during the previous week.

The Copper MMI® collects and weights 12 global copper metal price points to provide a unique view into copper price trends. For more information on the Copper MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

U.S. Steel on Thursday announced more layoffs as it continues to fight lower-priced, surging imports and declining demand in the energy sector, saying it will temporarily idle one of its iron-ore operations in Minnesota, affecting 412 workers.

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The idling of the plant in Keewatin, Minn., which ships to U.S. Steel mills, will take place on May 13 and affects six million tons of iron-ore production capacity, or 27% of U.S. Steel’s overall iron-ore output last year. U.S. Steel said the move is temporary in a statement.

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Raw Steels MMI® was the 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract, which saw a 1.0% increase to $520.00 per short ton. This comes on the heels of a 0.8% decline the week prior. US shredded scrap traded sideways last week, hovering around $246.00 per short ton. The spot price of the US HRC futures contract stayed essentially flat at $500.00 per short ton.

After falling 3.5%, Korean steel scrap landed at KRW 139,000 ($123.34) per metric ton and making it the week’s biggest mover on the weekly Raw Steels MMI®. Prices for Korean pig iron remained constant, closing the week at KRW 530,000 ($470.27) per metric ton.

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Chinese steel prices were mixed for the week. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 450.00 ($71.83) and a low price of CNY 445.00 ($71.03) per dry metric ton. Chinese slab finished the week at CNY 2,380 ($380.10) per metric ton after falling 3.3%. Following a 1.6% increase in the week prior, the price of Chinese HRC fell 0.8% last week to CNY 2,510 ($400.86) per metric ton. At CNY 1,080 ($172.40) per metric ton, the price of Chinese coking coal did not change since the previous week.

Following a steady week, prices for on the LME the steel billet 3-month price closed flat at $305.00 per metric ton. Also on the LME, the cash price of steel billet closed at $305.00 per metric ton after a flat week.

The US HRC futures contract 3-month price rose 1.0% to $520.00 per short ton after falling 0.8% during the previous week. US shredded scrap remained essentially flat from the previous week at $246.00 per short ton. At $500.00 per short ton, the spot price of the US HRC futures contract remained essentially flat.

The Raw Steels MMI® collects and weights 13 global steel and raw material price points to provide a unique view into global steel price trends. For more information on the Raw Steels MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

California and the federal government will move forward on less than half the California desert land initially designated for renewable energy plants, officials said Tuesday, leaving millions of acres in limbo as local governments decide how they want to handle large-scale solar, wind and geothermal projects.

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Regulators will initially focus on about 10 million acres of federal land overseen by the Bureau of Land Management in the Mojave and other Southern California deserts. Their initial plan, unveiled in September, designated 22.5 million acres across seven counties.

Much of the remaining 12.5 million acres is privately owned and would require separate development time tables. Projects on private property would likely need to be approved by local governments, which wanted a bigger say on the sweeping plan that attempts to bring order to a renewable-energy building boom in California’s deserts

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Renewables MMI®, neodymium jumped 3.8% to close at CNY 410,000 ($65,448) per metric ton. Chinese cobalt cathodes fell 1.8% over the past week to CNY 220,000 ($35,118) per metric ton. Following a 1.5% increase in the week prior, the price of Chinese steel plate fell 0.7% last week to CNY 2,680 ($427.81) per metric ton. Silicon remained essentially flat from the previous week at CNY 15,000 ($2,394) per metric ton.

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Prices for Japanese steel plate remained constant, closing the week at JPY 80,000 ($658.86) per metric ton. The price of Korean steel plate rose 1.9% to KRW 540,000 ($484.21) per metric ton after falling 1.9% during the previous week. The price of Chinese steel plate fell 0.7% to CNY 2,680 ($427.81) per metric ton after rising 1.5% the week before. Closing at $693.00 per short ton, US steel plate remained unchanged for the week.

US grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) remained essentially flat at $2,598 per metric ton.

The Renewables MMI® collects and weights 8 metal price points used extensively within the renewable energy industry to provide a unique view into renewable energy metal price trends. For more information on the Renewables MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

3-month copper surged to a six-week high on Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said it was preparing to consider rate rises on a meeting-by-meeting basis. Greece also secured its bailout extension from the EU and oil prices rebounded.

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Yellen said it would be several months before the Fed expects to raise interest rates but the consideration was now on the table. 3-month copper on the London Metal Exchange jumped to a session peak of $5,846 a metric ton today, the strongest since Jan. 13, and closed 2% higher at $5,785.

On Monday, March 9, the day’s biggest mover was the price of US copper producer grade 110, which saw a 1.5% decline to $3.34 per pound. After two changeless days, the price of US copper producer grade 122 fell 1.5% to $3.34 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 102 dropped by 1.4% to $3.53 per pound after holding steady. After a 0.4% increase, the cash price of primary Japanese copper finished the day at JPY 727,000 ($6,021) per metric ton.

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Chinese copper prices were mixed for the day. The price of Chinese copper bar declined 1.2% to CNY 42,770 ($6,827) per metric ton. The cash price of Chinese copper declined 1.2% to CNY 42,970 ($6,859) per metric ton. Chinese copper wire prices saw a 1.2% decline to CNY 41,940 ($6,695) per metric ton. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap was unchanged at CNY 33,400 ($5,332) per metric ton.

The primary copper cash price weakened by 0.5% on the LME, settling at $5,826 per metric ton. Also on the LME, the 3-month price of copper fell 0.4% to $5,804 per metric ton.

Alcoa Inc. said it would acquire Pittsburgh-based RTI International Metals Inc., one of the world’s biggest makers of fabricated titanium products for the aerospace and automotive industries, in a transaction with an enterprise value of $1.5 billion.

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For New York-based Alcoa, the world’s biggest aluminum producer by value, the stock-for-stock deal is part of its strategy to focus more on manufactured products for the aerospace and automotive industries.

Alcoa wants to become less reliant on its old-fashioned smelting business, which is suffering from weak prices for raw aluminum. Alcoa on Friday said it would look at closing up to 14% of raw smelting capacity. Since 2007, it has taken almost a third of its smelting capacity out of production.

RTI shareholders will receive 2.8315 Alcoa shares for each RTI share, representing a value of $41 per RTI share based on Alcoa’s closing price on Friday. RTI shares, which closed Friday at $27.28, jumped 28% to $35 in premarket trading Monday.

The cash price of primary Indian aluminum saw a 0.3% drop on Friday, March 6, landing at INR 112.45 ($1.80) per kilogram and making it the biggest mover of the day. On the LME, the aluminum 3-month price rose 0.1% to $1,806 per metric ton. On the LME, the cash price of primary aluminum held steady around $1,787 per metric ton.

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Chinese aluminum prices were mixed for the day. The cash price of Chinese aluminum saw a 0.2% decline to CNY 12,810 ($2,044) per metric ton. Chinese aluminum billet prices saw a 0.2% decline to CNY 12,820 ($2,046) per metric ton. Chinese aluminum bar finished the day down 0.1% to CNY 13,600 ($2,170) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap held steady at CNY 12,500 ($1,995) per metric ton.

North American Palladium‘s stock rose by 51.8% in the past month. This combination of strong price performance and favorable technical data, could suggest that the stock is on the right path.

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North American is an established PGM producer that has been operating its main revenue source, its Lac des Iles mine in northern Ontario, Canada, since 1993.

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Automotive MMI®, US palladium bar jumped 2.5% to close at $824.00 per ounce. US platinum bar gained a slight 1.0% this past week, finishing at $1,180 per ounce.

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The price of US HDG fell 1.8% over the past week to $662.00 per short ton. This was the fourth week in a row of declining prices.

The price of Chinese lead fell 1.6% for the week to settle at CNY 12,450 ($1,985) per metric ton. Finishing the fourth week of rising prices, the 3-month price of copper increased by 1.4% on the LME, finishing at $5,865 per metric ton. The cash price of primary copper increased 1.3% on the LME this week, closing out the fourth consecutive week of rising prices at $5,881 per metric ton. In the past week, Korean 5052 coil premium over 1050 sheet saw its price shift up 0.5% to KRW 4,016 ($3.65) per kilogram.

The Automotive MMI® collects and weights 7 metal price points used in automotive production to provide a unique view into automotive metal trends. For more information on the Automotive MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

Alcoa Inc. on Friday said it is considering curtailing aluminum smelting and refining operations via closures and divestment as part of a continuing effort to improve its profitability.

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Over the next year, Alcoa said it would consider curtailing, shutting down or shedding up to 14% of its global smelting capacity and 16% of its refining capacity. The company said has already idled some of its operations.

The New York-based aluminum firm with major operations in Pittsburgh has been benefiting from past efforts to close unprofitable smelters in high-cost areas. The company said it has curtailed, closed or sold about 31% of its highest-cost global smelting capacity since 2007.

Following a two-day decline, the cash price of primary Indian aluminum climbed up 0.5% to end at INR 112.80 ($1.81) per kilogram on Thursday, March 5. On the LME, the aluminum 3-month price increased 0.4% to $1,803 per metric ton. At $1,786, the cash price of primary aluminum finished the market day on the LME up 0.2% per metric ton.

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Chinese aluminum prices were flat for the day. The cash price of Chinese aluminum showed little movement yesterday at CNY 12,830 ($2,045) per metric ton. Chinese aluminum billet saw little change in its price on Thursday at CNY 12,840 ($2,047) per metric ton. Chinese aluminum bar held its value yesterday at CNY 13,620 ($2,171) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese aluminum scrap held flat at CNY 12,500 ($1,993) per metric ton.

After the fallout from the Chinese documentary “Under the Dome,” many nickel pig-iron producers are under pressure to clean up their act or shut down.

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Could nickel prices get a boost from the most recent closures at NPI producers in Linyi City, Shandong Province, China?

“The closures will not boost nickel price,” an analyst told CS.com.cn, as cited in Shanghai Metal Market, citing high LME nickel inventories, tumbling nickel prices, and a strong dollar.

Supply of low-grade NPI is also sufficient, the analyst told the website.

Linyi is a major producing region of low-grade NPI in China, with output accounting for 75% of China’s total.

The Indian nickel cash price closed up Thursday, March 5 at INR 884.90 ($14.20) per kilogram, halting two days of weakening prices with a 2.6% shift. Following a two-day drop, the nickel spot price increased by 1.8% on the LME to $13,825 per metric ton. Following a 1.5% rise yesterday, the nickel 3-month price closed on the LME at $13,875 per metric ton.

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Chinese stainless steel closed mixed yesterday. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome saw little movement at CNY 10,950 ($1,746) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 82,000 ($13,071) per metric ton.

The price of Chinese primary nickel rose 2.0% to CNY 104,500 ($16,658) per metric ton after a two-day drop. For the fifth day in a row, the Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge remained essentially flat at $0.87 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil was unchanged at CNY 23,700 ($3,778) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil remained essentially flat at CNY 16,700 ($2,662) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap held flat at CNY 13,050 ($2,080) per metric ton.

The gold price fell to a two-month low on Friday, after data showed the US economy created more jobs than expected last month, bolstering the case for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates around the middle of this year.

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Gold for April delivery, the most actively traded contract, was recently down 0.9% at $1,185.70 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. That is the lowest intraday level for the most active gold contract since Jan. 5.

US employers added 295,000 jobs to payrolls in February and the unemployment rate fell to 5.5%, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected payrolls to increase by 240,000.

Japanese silver saw a 1.4% drop on Thursday, March 5, landing at JPY 634.00 ($5.30) per 10 grams and making it the biggest mover of the day. The price of Indian silver rose 0.5% to INR 37,302 ($598.65) per kilogram after a two-day drop. The price of Chinese silver fell 0.4% to CNY 3,510 ($559.52) per kilogram. The price of US silver flattened at $16.21 following two-days of declines.

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The price of Indian gold bullion is back up, rising by 0.5% yesterday to close at INR 26,747 ($429.25) per 10 grams. Chinese gold bullion closed 0.3% lower at CNY 243.64 ($38.84) per gram. At $1,200 per ounce, US gold bullion fell 0.3% yesterday. The price of Japanese gold bullion declined 0.2% to JPY 4,641 ($38.79) per gram.

US platinum bar finished the day down 0.2% to $1,180 per ounce. After a 0.2% increase, Japanese platinum bar finished the day at JPY 4,574 ($38.23) per gram. At CNY 257.00 ($40.97) per gram, the price of Chinese platinum bar was essentially unchanged.

US palladium bar ended the day at $824.00 per ounce, after the 0.2% drop yesterday. The price of Japanese palladium bar steadied at JPY 3,202 ($26.76) per gram following two-days of increases. The price of Chinese palladium bar flattened at CNY 186.00 ($29.65) after two days of improvement.