Monthly Metal Review
- March 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
China’s State Reserves Bureau (SRB) plans to buy at least 200,000 tonnes of refined copper internationally this year. SRB reportedly placed two order batches last year for imports between 400,000 and 700,000 tonnes of refined copper cathode.
Japan emerged from recession in 2014’s final quarter. The economy grew 0.6 percent, an annualized 2.2-percent expansion. January trade data showed a 17-percent on-year Japan exports surge, aided by a weaker yen. Import costs fell sharply on lower fuel costs.
Eurozone finance ministers extended Greece's US$273-billion financial-rescue programme by four months. The tentative deal could be scrapped if creditor nations, especially skeptical Germany, are unsatisfied with debt-burdened Athens’ recovery measures.
Eurozone exports jumped by 8 percent on-year in December. Imports rose by 1 percent, producing a €24.3-billion unadjusted trade surplus.
Eurozone economic growth picked up in 2014’s final quarter as Germany’s economy expanded by 0.7 percent following two weak quarters. The euro economy grew on-quarter by 0.3 percent.
European new-car sales rose 6.2 percent in January, as a slow regional recovery gained momentum. Sales rose to 1.03 million vehicles from 968,451 on-year.
Carmakers’ interest in super-light, super-strong carbon fibre could threaten use of traditional metals in mass-market car manufacturing. U.S. rules require carmakers to raise average fuel efficiency to 54.5 mpg by 2025. Led by General Motors, Ford, Dow Chemical and Japan’s Teijin, manufacturers are financing research that could turn carbon fibre into auto building blocks. Ford already uses lighter aluminum, rather than steel, body panels in its best-selling F150 truck.
Federal Reserve policymakers were concerned at their late-January meeting that raising interest rates too soon would hurt economic recovery. Meeting minutes show officials trying to square solid economic growth with international-markets weakness and worry about falling-inflation expectations.
Chinese firms were reported investing nearly US$4 billion in European financial firms last year. China and the EU do some billion dollars in trade daily.
China’s imports fell 3.3 percent on-year in January, with exports dropping 19.9 percent on-year. Beijing reported a US$60 billion monthly trade surplus.
Inflation slowed in China along with domestic demand and commodities suffered. Consumer prices rose 0.8 percent on-year in January, the slowest since 2009. Factory-gate prices fell 4.3 percent.
China’s new-home prices fell again in 64 of 70 monitored cities. Prices showed signs of stabilising in top cities after the central bank cut interest rates and lenders’ reserve requirements.
The Confederation of British Industry raised its GDP expansion estimate for this year from 2.5 to 2.7 percent on lower oil prices and predicted low inflation below 1 percent. The business lobby said the Bank of England is not likely to raise interest rates until early next year. It noted a deflation threat but called sustained, widespread falling prices unlikely. It predicted 2.6-percent growth in 2016.