This year copper has fallen a further 17%. Last week it traded at $2.30 per lb. having fallen 5% in just two weeks. Poor German manufacturing data led to a fall of 3.1% in one day alone
.But things are changing. Chinas manufacturing index has risen off its August lows. This year supply and demand for copper are expected to be back in balance whilst in 2016 there is expected to be a deficit of 130,000 tonnes, growing over the next 12 years to an expected annual shortage of 10m. tonnes.
Gold fell by 6% in five days, back below the magic $1100 per oz, after Janet Yellen said there was a distinct possibility that US interest rates would rise in December. The dollar has already risen 11.3% this year. Obviously Yellen has not a clue about the damage which vague statements and talk of possibilities can do when they are issued by the Fed.
The result is that hedge funds are now ready to sell 430 tonnes of gold and the share of Goldcorp, the worlds largest gold miner have fallen to $11.65, the lowest since 2004.
Steel prices in China dropped to near record lows, down 7.6% in a month. China forges 46% of the worlds steel and consumes more than 75% of the worlds sea borne iron ore trade. Except for a tiny, tiny fall so far this year, which is expected to have righted itself by the end of the year, Chinese iron ore consumption has risen six fold since 2000. It has not fallen once in any year since 2000.
So why the panic ?
The three big Australian ore miners are doing enormous damage – but only to themselves, although they are too thick to realise it. They raised output and cut prices in the middle of a so called slump and and also cut costs, hoping they would bankrupt the competition but the cost cutting was not enough to make up for the price cuts and to make matters worse the competition joined them with increased output and lower prices.
Why the panic ? Ask Vale, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Janet Yellen – they seem to be experts at creating it.
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