It’s been a quiet week again in the commodity markets with the only major news announced last Friday that the Chinese economy was growing at 7.90% per annum which was an increase from the previous quarter rolling average of 7.40%. Notwithstanding the common skepticism that Chinese GDP figures may comprise an element of estimation, this has flowed onto a renewed optimism that China is not slowing down and that their economy may underwrite the demand for commodities, particularly copper.

It’s worth noting that China are able to collate, calculate & release their December GDP figures on 18 Jan whereas the RBA does not release Australian December GDP figures until 21 March (80 days after the quarter).

**** Chinese Copper Imports Jump 47.7% in December 2012 ****
By Resource News Report

December 2012 imports of copper into China surged 47.7% from the previous year hitting an all-time high of 509,000 tonnes.

According to International Copper Study Group (ICSG) China’s copper usage grew 19% in 2012 to represent 43% of the world’s consumption.  This growth rate more than offsets the copper usage decline of 3.7% in Japan, Europe and the USA.   World-wide copper mine production increased approximately 3% in 2012

**** Top commodity managers tip metals for Q1 on Chinese recovery ****

LONDON, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Commodity fund managers who performed well over the testing final quarter of 2012 believe metals commodities prices could do better than expected in early 2013 due to a combination of Chinese restocking and continued supply disruption.

Managers at Vescore, Investec and BasInvest, who were amongst the few to make money in the fourth quarter, are relatively optimistic about the outlook for commodities going into 2013, tipping copper, platinum and palladium.

“We believe there is a possibility for commodity prices to surprise to the upside due to production consensus estimates being overly generous,” said Bradley George, head of Investec Asset Management’s Commodities and Resources team.


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