On a day noted for the passage of the moon across the sun in the US, grains were eclipsed by metals, with wheat futures plumbing fresh contract lows on both sides of the Atlantic, while Chicago corn dropped to its lowest in nearly a year.
Silver futures prices moved higher again on Friday with July delivery contracts exchanging hands for $17.38 an ounce as the metal continues to claw back territory lost earlier this month. Silver is now up 8% since hitting its 2017 low on May 9.
China’s economic data is key to copper prices. Copper prices slipped due to weak imports from its top consumer China to a four-month low. Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.3 per cent at $5,497 a tonne at 0911 GMT. Earlier it fell to $5,481.50 towards Monday’s $5,462.50, the lowest since Jan 4.
Rio Tinto Group’s aluminum boss sees prices for the lightweight metal heading for an “extremely” volatile period, with uncertainty over when China will curb production helping to keep investors on edge. “That’s really where the uncertainty is at the moment,” Alfredo Barrios said in an interview at Bloomberg’s Toronto office. “There’s no doubt that if you look at the supply side, if you look at the environmental issues, sooner or later that will change. But when is a question mark.” China has ordered curbs on steel and aluminum output in as many as 28 northern cities during the winter heating season...
Exchange-traded fund investors are staying hot on platinum, even as money managers get cold feet on the metal. Holdings in platinum-backed ETFs posted a sixth straight weekly gain on Friday, the longest stretch since November. That came after U.S. money managers slashed their net-long position in the metal by more than half, the most in data going back to 2006.
Release Date:January 31, 2017United States mines in 2016 produced an estimated $74.6 billion of raw mineral materials, a slight increase from 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey announced today.[embedded content]The National Minerals Information Center, the primary agency for collecting and analyzing nonfuel minerals information, releases the 2017 Mineral Commodity Summaries, a collection of reports on over 85 commodities essential to the U.S. economy and national security.Christopher Tuck, USGS National Minerals Information Center. Public domain.The information comes from the 40th annual Mineral Commodity Summaries report, the earliest comprehensive source of 2016 mineral production data for the world. It includes statistics on more than 88 mineral commodities that are important to the U.S. economy and national security. The report identifies events, trends and issues in the domestic and international minerals industries.“The Mineral Commodity Summaries provide crucial, unbiased statistics that decision makers and policy makers, in both the private and public sectors, rely on to make business decisions and national policy,” said Steven M. Fortier, Director of the USGS National Minerals Information Center. “Industries – such as steel, aerospace and electronics – processed non-fuel mineral materials and created an estimated $2.8 trillion in value added products in 2016, which contributed 15 percent to the total U.S. Gross Domestic Product.”One key finding from the report is during 2016, the U.S. was 100 percent import reliant on 20 mineral commodities, including rare earths, manganese and niobium, which are among a suite of materials often designated as “critical” or “strategic” because they are essential to the economy and their supply may be disrupted. This number has increased from just 11 commodities in 1984.Some other significant findings in the new report on domestic mineral production include:Rare Earths:The suspension of U.S. rare-earth mining in late 2015 resulted in a significant decline in domestic exports of rare-earth compounds in 2016. U.S. imports of rare-earth compounds and metals increased by 6 percent compared with those in 2015.Aluminum:U.S. production of primary aluminum decreased for the fourth consecutive year, declining by about 47 percent in 2016 to the lowest level since 1951. During the year, three primary smelters were shut down reducing production capacity by more than 700,000 metric tons per year. U.S. imports of aluminum (crude and semi-manufactures) increased by 18 percent in 2016.Iron Ore:U.S. iron ore production decreased by 11 percent in 2016. Six iron ore mines in the United States had either been idled, reduced production, or closed permanently. Steel produced from basic oxygen furnaces, which consume iron ore, declined in 2016.Diamond (industrial):The United States is likely to continue as one of the world’s leading markets for industrial diamond into the next decade and will probably remain a significant producer and exporter of synthetic industrial diamond as well. National demand for industrial diamond is likely to be strong in the construction sector as the United States continues building, milling and repairing the country’s highway system.Salt:The 2015–16 winter was warmer than average for the first time in several years, and the amount of frozen precipitation and the number of winter weather events was below average in many parts of the United States, requiring less salt for highway de-icing. Rock salt production and imports in 2016 decreased 7 percent and 42 percent, respectively from the levels estimated in 2015 because of decreased demand from many local and State transportation departments.Cement:On a year-on-year basis, monthly cement sales in 2016 varied widely and the overall increase for the year was lower than had been expected at yearend 2015. Construction spending levels were moderately higher during the year, however, continued low oil and gas prices significantly limited the amount of oil and gas well drilling. This reduced the consumption of general and oil well cements for this activity, which contributed to lower overall cement sales in a number of States, especially Texas.The United States produced 13 mineral commodities in 2016 that were worth more than $1 billion each and the estimated value of total U.S. industrial minerals production in 2016 was $51.6 billion, 5 percent more than that of 2015.Slower growth in consumption for metals – especially in China – and excess production, resulted in low prices in 2015 and early 2016 for most metals. This caused the value of 2016 U.S. metal mine production to drop to $23 billion, a 5 percent loss compared to 2015.While the report looks at mineral commodities across the nation, eleven states individually produced more than $2 billion worth of nonfuel mineral commodities in 2016. These states were (in descending order of value): Nevada, Arizona, Texas, California, Minnesota, Florida, Alaska, Michigan, Wyoming, Missouri and Utah.The USGS Mineral Resources Program delivers unbiased science and information to understand mineral resource potential, production, consumption and how minerals interact with the environment. The USGS National Minerals Information Center collects, analyzes, and disseminates current information on the supply of and the demand for minerals and materials in the United States and about 180 other countries. This information is essential in planning for and mitigating impacts of potential disruptions to mineral commodity supply due to both natural hazard and man-made events.The USGS reportMineral Commodity Summaries 2017is available online. Hardcopies will be available later in the year from the Government Printing Office, Superintendent of Documents. For ordering information, please call (202) 512-1800 or (866) 512-1800 or goonline.For more information on this report and individual mineral commodities, please visit theUSGS National Minerals Information Centerwebsite. To keep up-to-date on USGS mineral research, follow us onTwitter.
Tata Steel (BSE: <a href="http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/q?s=TATASTEEL.BO">TATASTEEL.BO</a> - <a href="http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/q/h?s=TATASTEEL.BO">news</a>) has agreed a deal to sell of its speciality steel assets to metal processing firm Liberty House, the Indian group said Thursday.
3D-printed plastic parts are already gaining traction, but metal is still a ways off from becoming everyday reality in the auto industry.
Last year was a strong year for zinc, with prices rising over 60 percent, but what is ahead for the base metal in 2017? At this year’s Vancouver Resource Investment Conference (VRIC), the Investing News Network (INN) caught up with Steve Stakiw, VP of Investor Relations of Trevali Mining, to discuss the future of zinc.
Non-ferrous metal prices such as zinc grew, as fears of unstable production put upward market pressure on the goods. Oil prices passed $50 a barrel, as major producing nations agreed to cut output in late November, prompting prices of other products to gain as well.