The commodity market this week can be best described as “steady” with very small movements in Copper, Aluminium, Lead and Nickel. The AUD/USD is also quiet having traded around the 1.02 mark all week.
**** BHP considers withdrawal from aluminum and nickel ****
Melbourne, Australia — 16 July 2012 – Australian-based Mining giant BHP Billiton – the world’s largest diversified miner – is considering a withdrawal from aluminum and nickel operations as part of a general retreat from non-profitable side projects by key mining players. Financial Time sources say BHP is one of a number of major mining companies pushing for a “retreat to the core,” seeking to divest itself of non-essential operations.
**** DJ Citi Downgrades 2012, 2013 Metal Forecasts ****
LONDON–Citi Monday cut its outlook on metals prices for this year and next amid expectations that physical demand will drop off in the months ahead amid macroeconomic uncertainty. The bank cut its 2012 outlook on copper by 7% to USD7,912 Mt and its 2013 forecast by 2% to USD 8,198 Mt. Citibank’s biggest base metal downgrade was for aluminum, for which it reduced it 2012 price outlook by 11% to USD 2,005 Mt and its 2013 forecast by 12% USD 2,115 Mt.
**** DJ China Aims to Shut 18 Mln Tons Iron, Steel Capacity by End-September ****
BEIJING—China’s government wants to shut 18.15 million metric tons of obsolete iron and steel production capacity by the end of September, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said this week.
The ministry is targeting 22 steelmakers and 27 iron smelters in this round of eliminations. Affected producers will not be allowed to transfer the targeted output capacity to other areas within the country or bordering countries, it said.
**** Stat of the Week ****
In 2009 China had 859 million mobile phone subscribers, India 752 million and USA 279 million