Base Metals Weekly Round-Up: Base Metals Freeze

- November 8th, 2019

What happened to base metals this week? Here’s a look at the top stories covered by the Investing News Network.

As the cold weather moves in and temperatures sink, base metals have followed suit, with most dropping in price this week.

Nickel took a hit, falling from US$16,585 per tonne on Monday (November 4) to US$16,300 on Thursday (November 7), decreasing by 1.72 percent.

Nickel’s price has jumped all over the place these past few weeks following the back and forth regarding Indonesia’s nickel ore export ban, which was temporarily revoked this week.

Iron struggled a bit during the five day period, declining from its Monday price of US$82.85 per tonne to US$82.55 on Thursday, dropping by 0.36 percent over the course of a few days.

Zinc also dropped — the metal traded for US$2,585.50 per tonne at the beginning of the week, dropped off on Wednesday (November 6) to US$2,527, but picked on Thursday, when it traded for US$2,541.

Like zinc, lead was also on the decline; the metal started the week at US$2,175 per tonne, but traded for US$2,104 on Thursday, decreasing by 3.26 percent over the course of the week.

Unlike the other base metals, copper has had a stellar performance, with its price increasing steadily. Copper started the week at US$5,846 per tonne and closed Thursday at US$5,940. 

There has been some concern over the future of copper while Chile goes through political turmoil, but as of now, politics have not spilled over into copper mining in a substantial way. 

Top base metals stories 

1. Indonesia Temporarily Revokes Nickel Ore Export Ban

The government of Indonesia banned nickel ore exports on October 28 in a move to promote processing industries in the country, but must now look into rule violations. 

The ban came into effect two months earlier than previously announced by the government, and at least 20 nickel ore vessels have been held in ports, carrying about 50,000 metric tons each.

2. Freeport to Introduce AI at its Mines

Freeport-McMoran (NYSE:FCX) unveiled its new plan to increase annual output at its mines through the addition of machine-learning technology

The technology has been tested at the Bagdad mine in Arizona with success, and Freeport expects to roll out the technology throughout all of its mines in the Americas. 

3. Vale May Lose Newly Acquired Ferrous Resources 

The government of Brazil is currently investigating the documentation of Vale’s (NYSE:VALE) recently acquired iron ore producer Ferrous Resources. Vale has about a month to provide the correct documentation in order to retain ownership over the asset. 

In other news

Also in the news this week, Chile’s Codelco boosted its output by 7.5 percent in September to 145,300 metric tons. However, the state-owned company’s annual production is still short, as its output in the first nine months of the year is down by 6.7 percent as compared to 2018.

Meanwhile, BHP (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BLT) announced that it has been unaffected by sanctions on Chinese shipping company COSCO. The American government put sanctions on Chinese companies in late September.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Sasha Dhesi, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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