Posted: December 19th, 2013 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: Commodities, Gold, Metals, Precious metals, USA | Tags: Gold, gold future, gold market, gold price, spot gold | No Comments »
Spot gold was down 1.2 percent at $1,202.10 an ounce at 10:00 GMT, having earlier touched a low of $1,200.25. U.S. gold futures for February delivery were down $32.90 an ounce at $1,202.10.
The Fed said on Wednesday that the U.S. economy was finally strong enough for it to reduce its monthly asset purchases to $75 billion from $85 billion, “reflecting cumulative progress and an improved outlook for the job market,” Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said yesterday after officials concluded a two-day meeting.
Gold slumped 27 percent this year on speculation the Fed would start to taper bond buying as economic growth picks up. About 34 percent of economists surveyed by Bloomberg Dec. 6 predicted that the Fed would start paring stimulus this month.
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Posted: December 17th, 2013 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: Agricultural, Australia, Canada, Commodities, Europe, USA, Wheat | Tags: wheat, wheat australia, wheat canada, wheat future, wheat price, wheat stock, wheat supply, wheat USA | No Comments »
US grain futures declined on Tuesday, with wheat futures for March delivery falling 0.3 percent to $6.1975 a bushel. Earlier, the price touched $6.1875, the lowest for a most-active contract since June 2012, amid forecasts for record-high global output.
Wheat prices have been under heavy selling pressure in recent sessions as increased production in Australia and Canada underlined concerns over ample global supplies.
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Posted: December 16th, 2013 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: Economic Indicators, Labor, USA | Tags: labor cost, labor productivity, productivity, us labor, us labor cost, us productivity | No Comments »
Unit labor costs – a gauge of the labor-related cost for any given unit of output – fell at a 1.4 per cent rate in the third quarter, roughly double the originally estimated fall, underscoring the lack of wage-related inflation pressures in the economy. Unit labor costs had risen at a 2.0 per cent pace in the second quarter.
US labor productivity rose at a 3.0 per cent annual rate in Q3 2013 after increasing at a 1.8 per cent pace in the second quarter, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said today, driven by a 4.7 per cent rise in output and 1.7 percent in hours worked.
This is the largest increase in the quarterly series since a 4.7 percent gain in the fourth quarter of 2009. From the third quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of 2013, productivity increased 0.3 percent as output and hours worked rose 2.1 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively.
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Posted: December 16th, 2013 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: Brazil, Commodities, Sugar | Tags: sugar, sugar brazil, sugar future, sugar glut, sugar output, sugar price, sugar surplus | No Comments »
Raw sugar futures, down 15 percent this year, are heading for a third annual decline, the longest slump since 1992. Prices slid as producers from Brazil to Australia, the third-biggest shipper, boosted output after futures reached a 30-year high in February 2011, despite worries about supply interruptions.
The sweetener is the eighth worst-performing commodity this year in the Standard & Poor’s gauge of 24 raw materials.
Prices struck a 3.5-year low point in London, at $442.10 a tonne. Last Friday on LIFFE, London’s futures exchange, the price of a tonne of white sugar for March dropped to $443.80 from $454.20 a week earlier.
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Posted: December 15th, 2013 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: China, Commodities, Metals, Palladium, Precious metals, Russia, South Africa | Tags: palladium, palladium price, palladium production, palladium russia, palladium south africa, palladium stockpile, palladium supply | No Comments »
Of all the LME-listed metals, palladium is the only one not to have decreased since the beginning of the year. Gold and platinum dropped 26% and 10% respectively, copper 14% and aluminum 15%. The London Metal Exchange Index, the composite index of the LME‘s six primary non-ferrous metals, fell more than 15%.
The precious metal has sound fundamentals especially with a Chinese car production growth in double digits. The listing of an ounce of palladium could reach $800 in 2014 and gradually climb to $1,000.
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Posted: November 28th, 2013 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: Aluminum, China, Commodities, Currencies, Metals, US Dollar | Tags: alumina, alumina china, alumina market, aluminum, aluminum china, aluminum market | No Comments »
Prices for aluminum, the second most widely used metal after steel, for delivery in 3 months settled 0.2 percent lower at $1,754 a ton, the lowest since July 2009, on the London Metal Exchange today.
According to the World Bureau of Metal Statistics, the global aluminum market was in oversupply by some 1.23 million tonnes in the first nine months of 2013, following a surplus of 539,000 tonnes for the whole of 2012. It’s this quantity of metal above ground which drove prices this week to their lowest value since mid-2009.
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Posted: November 25th, 2013 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: Cobalt, Commodities, Metals | Tags: cobalt, cobalt lme, cobalt market, cobalt metal bulletin, cobalt price, cobalt trade | No Comments »
The $2bn-a-year cobalt market is in the midst of an upheaval. After more than two decades during which the cobalt industry has used the price assessments of journalists at Metal Bulletin as a benchmark for transactions, the market is now shifting to adopt the London Metal Exchange contract.
US miner Freeport, which sells large volumes to the Chinese market, said last month it will price its cobalt transactions on the basis of the LME prices from January 2014.
While interest in the LME contract is growing, the cobalt market, much of which has relied on Metal Bulletin’s twice-weekly price assessments to settle its long-term contracts, remains divided on pricing mechanisms.
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Posted: November 18th, 2013 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: Chemicals, Commodities, Europe, Potash | Tags: Potash, potash belarus, potash market, potash price, potash russia | No Comments »
The Russia-Belarus potash war could be ending as Suleiman Kerimov, the Russian oligarch and primary shareholder of the world’s largest potash miner Uralkali, has agreed to sell his 21.75 per cent stake to billionaire businessman Mikhail Prokhorov, in a move which is likely to calm tensions between Russia and Belarus.
The potash industry has been in disarray since Uralkali announced in late July that it was leaving a trading partnership with Belarus which controlled around 40% of the world’s trade in the fertilizer ingredient. The move effectively ended an informal global pricing cartel, sent potash prices tumbling and stock prices for the world’s top producers into a tailspin. 3 weeks later, China‘s sovereign wealth fund (CIC) acquired a 12.5 percent stake in Uralkali.
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Posted: November 12th, 2013 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: Commodities, Lead, Metals, Zinc | Tags: lead, lead forecast, lead outlook, lead price, recycled lean, zinc, zinc forecast, zinc outlook, zinc price | No Comments »
From aluminum to copper, prices of almost all metals have been in decline since the beginning of the year, plagued by stocks and surpluses. But two of them have moved in the opposite direction: lead and zinc prices are on the rise, a trend that is unique among metals.
70% of worldwide lead comes from batteries recycling. Since the financial crisis and the impact it had on western countries new car sales, recycled lead quantities have dropped. At the same time, production of primary lead also decreased.
The International Lead and Zinc Study Group expects that there will be a small 22,000 tonnes surplus in the global market for refined lead metal in 2013. In 2014, the market is expected to be in deficit for the first time since 2009 with the extent of the shortage estimated at 23,000 tonnes.
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Posted: November 10th, 2013 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: Commodities | Tags: commodities, commodity 2013, commodity forecast, commodity outlook, commodity risk | No Comments »
The recent fortunes made by investors in rare earth metals and gold are just two shining examples of what an extremely profitable investment class commodities can be. From aluminum and platinum to zinc and silver, oil and gas to cocoa and wheat, this Guide to Commodities from the Economist Intelligence Unit is a comprehensive overview of the forces at work in the world of commodities.
The price volatility of so many commodities over the past decade has underlined their economic importance and how dependent we are on them: the price of gold has soared to new peaks (before tumbling in the last few weeks) as currencies have endured a crisis of confidence, demand from China has pushed metal prices up, instability in the Middle East and North Africa has had its effect on the oil price and food prices have been increasing in parallel with worries about whether there is enough to feed the world. Read the rest of Guide to Commodities 2013 » » »