Copper Arbitrage: China Says Go; Investors Say No


Copper prices have fallen in recent weeks, as financial markets have started to worry about the impact of rising US interest rates and the ripples emanating from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. Copper arbitrage on COMEX is also trending down in line with lower speculative positions on the LME, confirming a broad retreat. However, […]

March 22, 2023 - Dan Smith

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Base Metals: China Bounce Back to Boost Prices

Base Metals Copper Lead Nickel Primary Aluminium Zinc

31st January 2023: Last year was a weak period for most of the base metals and prices trended lower through the year, although nickel was an exception and followed its own bullish path. By contrast, aluminium, copper, tin and zinc prices have all rallied this year, despite a weak fundamental backdrop. While there is currently […]

January 31, 2023 - Dan Smith

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Tin: A Triumph of Hope over Reality


12th December 2022: Tin prices have rallied in recent weeks, as LME speculators have gone from net short to net long. Like other base metals, tin is being boosted by hopes that the Chinese economy will see a strong bounce back, after severe Covid-related lockdowns in November. However, current fundamentals look weak and exchange stocks […]

December 12, 2022 - Dan Smith

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China: Don’t Believe the Hype

Base Metals China

25th November 2022: Base metal prices have rallied in recent weeks with PMI survey data for November suggesting some improvement in Europe and the USD has fallen back, helping to lift commodity prices. However, high frequency data from China shows a sharp slowdown in activity in recent weeks and a severe lockdown is evident in […]

November 28, 2022 - Dan Smith

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Base metals: Micro Outweighs Macro

Base Metals Copper

Base metal prices have rallied in recent weeks and copper prices have jumped, despite the backdrop of weakness in global manufacturing and continued lockdowns in China. Investor sentiment is still depressed compared to recent history, but is tentatively moving higher on hopes that we may be close to a turning point in the economic cycle. […]

November 11, 2022 - Dan Smith

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Base metals: Reasons to Be Cheerful and Fearful

Base Metals

21st October 2022: Base metal prices have fallen sharply this year, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent shockwaves through financial markets. While demand growth has slowed across the complex, inventory levels remain surprisingly low, helped by supply side challenges. We believe that investor positioning has already discounted most of the bad news. In the year […]

October 21, 2022 - Dan Smith

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Russian Aluminium: The Door Is Closing

Primary Aluminium

Russian Aluminium – The Door Is Closing 6th October 2022: Aluminium prices have rallied as the market starts to worry about low LME stocks and the potential impact of an LME ban on Russian metal. While there is scope for trade flows to be diverted, this will take time and significant short-term disruption is likely. […]

October 6, 2022 - Dan Smith

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Copper Falls – Setback or Existential Crisis?


28th September 2022: Copper prices fell in the past month, as inflation seems to be running out of control in the US and recession fears are elevated. Copper is closely tracking economic variables, showing that the headwinds from a strong US currency are significant. Fundamentals are looking supportive though and Chinese demand looks set to […]

September 28, 2022 - Dan Smith

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Aluminium: Energy Spike Alters Risk-Reward

Primary Aluminium

6th September 2022: Aluminium prices fell in August, as demand weakness combined with a stronger USD and declining risk appetite. Meanwhile, gas prices surged in Europe and the US, putting 1.2Mt/y of smelter capacity at risk from high electricity prices. Aluminium fundamentals still look lacklustre, but the downside for prices is starting to look limited […]

September 9, 2022 - Dan Smith

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