Gold Silver Reports — Non-Ferrous metals posted a decent performance in the month ending April 2017 with Zinc and Lead being star performers. Copper maintained winning stream with prices rising for fifth month in a row.
Copper prices gained on a month on month basis. Metals like Zinc and Lead gained only marginally in the month ending April 2017. The prices got a boost on a yearly basis when the news of supply side disruptions of Copper hit the markets during this year.
This not only boosted the morale of Copper traders but other metal speculators that were waiting to cash the opportunity. The anxiety relating to Tax reforms by the US government grabbed the news while Copper also remained focused on the developments in world largest consumer China. Stoppage in work in Freeport McMoRan and anxiety of slow supply resulted in speculators maintaining their medium term positions in longs. Though the prices of metals have see the corner during April the flow of rise was vigorous to cater any significant declines in between trading sessions. LME Copper prices averaged at $ 5698 per tonne by the end of April 2017 against $ 4853 per tonne by the end of April 2016, up 17.4% on a year on year basis. Meanwhile, gains of 0.96% were registered on a month on month basis from $ 5643 per tonne during March 2017.
International Copper Study Group (ICSG) stated that World refined copper balance for January 2017 indicates a surplus of around 50,000 t. This is mainly because of a higher growth rate in world refined production coupled with a lower growth rate in Chinese apparent demand. World mine production is estimated to have increased by around 4% in January 2017 year on year, with concentrate production increasing by around 5% and solvent extraction-electrowinning (SX-EW) declining by 2%. A 25% rise in Peruvian concentrate output that benefitted from new and expanded capacity that was not yet fully available in January 2016.
However, January 2017 production was 6% lower than the average production level in the 4th quarter 2016. A 22% rise in Mexican mine production (concentrate and SX-EW) that benefitted from expanded capacity brought on stream during last year. However overall growth was partially offset by a 2.5% decline in production in Chile, the worlds biggest copper mine producer. No major supply disruption occurred in January in Chile and the decline was mainly due to a reduction in SX-EW output at some mines. Indonesian production was constrained by a temporary ban in concentrate exports that started during the month. On a regional basis, production rose by 3% in the Americas, 6% in Asia, 4% in Europe and 10% in Oceania while remaining essentially unchanged in Africa.
World refined production is estimated to have increased by about 2% in January 2017 with primary production (Electrolytic and Electrowinning) remaining essentially unchanged and secondary production (from scrap) increasing by 13%. The main contributor to growth in world refined production was China (increase of 10%) followed by Mexico (16%) where expanded SX-EW capacity contributed to refined production growth.
However, overall growth was partially offset by a 10% decline in Chile, the second world leading refined copper producer, where both primary electrolytic refined production and electrowinning production declined. Production also declined in Japan (mainly in electrolytic production from concentrates) and in the United States (mainly in electrowinning output). On a regional basis, refined output is estimated to have increased in Asia (6%), in Africa (3%) and in Europe (including Russia) (2%) while declining in the Americas (6%) and remaining essentially unchanged in Oceania.
The markets have been galloping forward by the economic recovery prospects from the Chinese markets. The beneficiary of strike threats and hopes of revival of Chinese economy keeps the pace going for metals like Copper and its counterparts. — Neal Bhai Reports