Articles in Category: Precious Metals

The Global Precious Monthly Metals Index (MMI) fell by 5.2% for this month’s reading, as gold prices dipped throughout June.

July 2021 Global Precious MMI chart

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Gold price slides in June

gold price

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The gold price lost steam in June.

The price opened the month at around $1,870 per ounce before closing at just over $1,800 per ounce.

However, the price has showed some signs of recovery in early July. Gold neared $1,830 per ounce as of Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar gained strength throughout June. (Gold and the dollar are typically inversely correlated.)

The U.S. dollar index opened June at just under 90 before closing the month at 92.44.

Elsewhere, 30-year treasury yields have dipped below 2% for the first time since February.

The 30-year yield opened June at 2.30% before closing the month at 2.06%. The 30-year yield then fell to 1.91% to July 8.

The 10-year yield opened June at 1.62% and closed the month at 1.45%.

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Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and some of the metals storylines here on MetalMiner, including steel sector news, the Biden administration’s release of a 250-page supply chain report and much more:

steelmaking in an EAF

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Week of June 7-11 (steel sector news, Biden administration’s supply chain review and more)

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The Global Precious Monthly Metals Index (MMI) rose by 1.3% for this month’s reading, as the gold price rose to around $1,900 per ounce.

June 2021 Global Precious MMI

Each month, MetalMiner hosts a webinar on a specific metals topic. Explore the upcoming webinars and sign up for each on the MetalMiner Events page.

Gold price picks up to close May

gold price

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The gold price made steady gains in May, rising to around $1,900 per ounce to close the month.

Since then, however, the price dropped to around $1,860 per ounce to start June. The gold price then bounced back to around $1,890 per ounce Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar index, which generally moves inversely to the gold price, dropped in early May. After that, the dollar trended sideways, closing Tuesday at 90.08.

In other economic indicators, the U.S. 30-year treasury yield, which also generally moves inversely to the gold price, fell to 2.21% on Tuesday. The yield curve rate marked its lowest level since March 2.

The 10-year yield fell to 1.53%, its lowest since March 10.

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copper smelter

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Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and some of the metals storylines here on MetalMiner.

In addition, our May 2021 Monthly Metals Index (MMI) PDF is now available for download. The PDF summary includes an executive summary, trends chart and portions of each MMI article (with each page including a link to the full article).

This month’s MMI continued the general theme of rising prices. Copper, for example, reach an all-time high this week. Iron ore and steel skyrocketed, while just about everything else also moved upward.

As for stainless steel, the United Steelworkers union’s ATI strike continues. The MetalMiner team broke down the stainless market recently as part of our monthly webinar series, a video replay of which is available in the MetalMiner video archive.

The MetalMiner Best Practice Library offers a wealth of knowledge and tips to help buyers stay on top of metals markets and buying strategies.

Week of May 10-14 (the copper price, U.S. Steel’s big announcement and much more)

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The Global Precious Monthly Metals Index (MMI) jumped by 7.1% for this month’s index reading, as the gold price gained while the US dollar retraced.

May 2021 Global Precious MMI chart

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Gold price up to three-month high

After stumbling to around $1,735 per ounce in late February, the gold price has gradually picked up steam.

The gold price closed April around $1,790 per ounce. However, gold really picked up last week, closing Friday at around $1,831 per ounce.

The price marked its highest since February.

Instructive for commodities in general, the US dollar has lost strength in recent weeks. In general, the US dollar and gold trade inversely.

The US dollar index closed March at 93.30 before steadily declining in April down to 90.60. Despite a slight recovery in early May, the dollar has continued to slide. The dollar index closed Friday at 90.23.

Meanwhile, in other economic indicators, the 30-year Treasury yield fell to 2.28% last week. Generally, the gold price correlates inversely with bond yields.

The 30-year yield reached a 2021 high of 2.45% in March.

The 10-year yield closed last week at 1.60% after hitting a 2021 high of 1.74% in March.

Furthermore, the US added 266,000 jobs in April, well below expectations. The underwhelming jobs report follows the addition of 916,000 jobs in March. Unemployment ticked up slightly to 6.1% from 6.0% in March.

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silver price

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The green agenda has lifted prices across the metals sector.

To what extent it has driven physical demand rather than sentiment-driven investor activity — in the form of exchange-traded fund (ETF) buying, stockpiling or exchange position building — is debatable. It’s more of the latter than the former, we would suggest, as the main physical driver for metals remains electrification in transport. As a percentage of the whole, that remains relatively small.

But one important metal in the sector that has yet to see the same support this year is silver.

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Silver price trends

After hitting a low of $24/oz back in early April, the silver price has seen a steady appreciation to just under $27.50/oz today.

However, it has still not hit the artificial eight-year high seen in January, when it reached nearly $30/oz on the back of frenzied retail investors’ demand.

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China story steel production

Zhao Jiankang/AdobeStock

Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and the metals storylines here on MetalMiner:

The MetalMiner Best Practice Library offers a wealth of knowledge and tips to help buyers stay on top of metals markets and buying strategies.

Week in Review, April 5-9 (steel capacity utilization, European steel’s challenges and more)

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The Global Precious Monthly Metals Index (MMI) rose by 3.7%, as the gold price trended sideways in March.

April 2021 Global Precious MMI chart

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Gold flat in March, picks up in April

gold price

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Late last year, MetalMiner’s Stuart Burns touched on the gold price’s prospects in 2021.

Gold surged above $2,030 per ounce last August amid ongoing economic uncertainty and well before the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.

Since then, however, the gold price has cooled significantly. From the aforementioned peak, gold has dipped approximately 15%.

The gold price trended sideways throughout March, settling in around $1,730 per ounce. Despite a dip in treasury yields — which gold typically moves inversely to — the price largely held in place, as the US dollar strengthened.

The US dollar index rose to 93.30 in late March before retreating in the first week of April (coinciding with a modest bounceback for gold and silver).

So far this month, however, gold has shown some upward momentum. The gold price picked up Thursday, approaching the $1,760 per ounce mark.

Like gold price, silver price bounces back in April

Meanwhile, the silver price narrative followed a similar theme to that of the gold price.

After reaching $28.10 per ounce in February, the silver spot price fell to just below $25.00 per ounce to start April. Over the last week, silver has clawed back some gains, reaching around $25.50 per ounce Thursday.

While silver is often most thought of for its use in jewelry and kitchen utensils, the precious metal does have high-tech industrial applications.

As MetalMiner’s Stuart Burns noted earlier this week, nations around the world will need to secure their supply chains for the next industrial revolution, whether it’s the broader push toward renewable energy or the automotive sector’s transition toward electrification.

Among other uses, silver is used in semiconductors. As we’ve discussed at great length in recent months, the semiconductor shortage continues to weigh on automotive manufacturers.

30-year treasury yield declines

Meanwhile, the 30-year treasury yield has slipped over the last few weeks. Generally, higher yields serve as an indicator of economic confidence (as opposed to the gold price).

The 30-year yield reached a high of 2.45% on March 19.

This week, the yield fell to 2.32% on Thursday, down from 2.35% the previous day.

The 10-year yield fell to 2.22% on Thursday, down from a March peak of 2.36%.

The minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s meeting in March make reference to the March rise in yields.

“In the United States, the trend toward higher longer-term yields observed in recent months accelerated over the intermeeting period, and far-forward real rates based on Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) rose considerably,” the minutes indicated. “Market participants highlighted an improving economic outlook, bolstered by passage of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and progress on vaccinations, as underlying the increase in yields.”

Sibanye-Stillwater announces strategic partnership with Johnson Matthey

Sibanye-Stillwater recently announced a strategic partnership with British sustainable technology company Johnson Matthey.

Through the partnership, the South African mining giant said it aims to “develop solutions to drive decarbonization.”

Furthermore, the parties will explore more efficient use of PGMs and other metals in battery technology.

“Johnson Matthey and Sibanye-Stillwater will collaborate on the sourcing and application of PGMs and metals used in battery technology to enable the development and commercialisation of low carbon technologies, with a focus on circularity and sustainability,” Sibanye-Stillwater said in its release. “In addition, the companies will examine potential opportunities to apply their collective experience to support the development of more sustainable supply chains for battery materials.”

Actual metals prices and trends

The US silver price dipped by 8.6% month over month to $24.41 per ounce as of April 1.

The US platinum bars price held flat, closing the month at $1,180 per ounce. Meanwhile, US palladium bars rose by 14.0% to $2,540 per ounce.

The Chinese gold price fell by 1.8% to $55.41 per gram. The US gold price fell by 1.6% to $1,709 per ounce.

The MetalMiner Best Practice Library offers a wealth of knowledge and tips to help buyers stay on top of metals markets and buying strategies.

ArcelorMittal sign in Ontario

JHVEPhoto/Adobe Stock

Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and some of the metals coverage here on MetalMiner, including coverage of ArcelorMittal, copper prices, China’s latest five-year plan and much more:

Week of March 8-12 (ArcelorMittal, China’s Five-Year Plan and more)

gold price

Olivier Le Moal/Adobe Stock

The Global Precious Monthly Metals Index (MMI) dipped 0.7% for this month’s index value, as gold prices have continued to slide.

March 2021 Global Precious MMI chart

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Gold price dips below $1,700/oz

Amid economic uncertainty and turbulence, many turn to traditional safe-haven assets like gold.

However, the gold price has been on the decline since August.

The gold price reached an August peak of $2,035 per ounce. The price fell below $1,800 around Thanksgiving before recovering to around $1,950 at the start of the year.

Since then, gold has come back down, falling to $1,698 per ounce on Monday.

US dollar regains some strength; treasury yields gain

The US dollar and the gold price are generally inversely correlated.

As such, the US dollar has shown some strength of late.

The dollar index reached 92.30 on Monday and is up 2.64% in the year to date.

In other indicators of strength, the 30-year treasury yield reached 2.31% on Monday, up from 1.66% to start the year. Meanwhile, the 10-year yield reached 1.59% on Monday, up from 0.93% to start the year.

Meanwhile, as we’ve noted previously, other factors potentially weighing on gold include adoption of cryptocurrency by some investors. While Bitcoin’s volatility is significant, the price has surged this year. Bitcoin reached $53,806 to start the week, down from the all-time peak of $57,489 reached late last month. However, Bitcoin is still up 83% on the year.

Automotive precious metals continue to surge

Prices for precious metals used in automotive applications continue to rise — to the chagrin of automotive manufacturers.

Rhodium, for example, used in catalysts that deal with emissions, continues to surge. After reaching $16,000 per ounce in late January, the price reached $25,800 per ounce Monday, or up approximately 61%.

Meanwhile, palladium’s gains have not been as significant, but the price remains elevated. At $2,234 per ounce on Monday, the palladium price is up 47% since its 2020 trough in late March 2020.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Nissan Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta cited the challenge of rising raw material prices, particularly precious metals.

Sibanye-Stillwater reports six-month results

South African miner Sibanye-Stillwater last month reported its results for the six-month period ending Dec. 31, 2020.

The firm’s profit jumped to $1.78 billion, up from $5 million during the same period in 2019.

In its 4E PGM category in South Africa — rhodium, platinum, palladium and gold — production reached 918,679 ounces, down from 980,343 ounces the previous year.

Meanwhile, 2E PGM output in the US — that is, platinum and palladium — totaled 305,327 ounces, down from 309,202 ounces.

“2020 was a defining year for the Group, marking the end of the deleveraging phase that has prevailed over the past three years,” Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman said. “Despite the significant challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Group delivered a record financial performance and made notable progress towards delivery on many strategic targets.”

Newmont reports production results

In other production news, top gold miner Newmont Corporation reported fiscal year 2020 net income of $2.14 billion, up from $970 million the previous year.

Furthermore, Newmont’s attributable gold production fell to 5.91 million ounces, down from 6.29 million ounces the previous fiscal year.

Gold production fell due to “Yanacocha and Cerro Negro being placed into care and maintenance in response to the Covid pandemic, lower ore grade mined at Ahafo and the sale of Red Lake and Kalgoorlie, partially offset by a full year of operations from assets acquired in April 2019,” the miner said.

Actual metals prices and trends

The US silver price dipped 1.0% month over month to $26.70 per ounce as of March 1.

The US platinum bar price rose to 10.8% to $1,181 per ounce. Meanwhile, the US palladium bar price rose 3.2% to $2,229 per ounce.

The Chinese gold bullion price fell 6.4% to $56.45 per gram. The US gold bullion price fell 6.1% to $1,736 per ounce.

The MetalMiner Best Practice Library offers a wealth of knowledge and tips to help buyers stay on top of metals markets and buying strategies.

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