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Archive through January 04, 2005

Chart Forum » Commodities & Futures » Commodities - base metals/oil » Archive through January 04, 2005

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scarrie
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Post Number: 201
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Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - 04:14 pm:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



Interesting take on oil from Bill Mclaren on CNBC yesterday. His forecast can be viewed at mclarenreport with a dot, a com, another dot, and an au. Go to free CNBC Reports, then the report for 15Nov.

Cheers
Dave


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rederob
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Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - 04:47 pm:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



Dave
McLaren's chart is below.
Not surprising that Oil has fallen back, and I would be surprised if further reductions did not occur.
No near term rally is likely to occur until a cold snap sets-in in the northern hemisphere and runs down heating oil supplies.
If that does not occur, oil will decline further still.
That said, oil has a long way to fall before blowing off its present bull trend (breaking below $40 would be a good sign).
Although overall oil supplies are improving, refining capacity is stretched, and this is the key to oil's near term upside.
I don't see longs filling up the morgues yet - I suspect they know this market can quickly slip into a higher gear on some calamitous event.








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rederob
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Thursday, November 18, 2004 - 08:30 am:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



Overnight greenback weakness spurred base metal prices, with copper leading the way - up 4cents in combination with large warehouse drawdowns.
Nickel warehouse stocks continue to accumulate, albeit at a slow pace, while aluminium restocking has reduced backwardation and moved it to contango.
Will get more interesting by the week!


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rederob
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Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - 10:27 pm:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



Some recent talk of a Chinese slowdown is really quite interesting. Clearly there is data that shows things are not as hot as they could have been had the rate of y/y growth continued.
On the base metals front aluminium restocking has counterbalanced lead and copper drawdowns, and nickel has steadily added to stocks. Zinc drawdowns are a lesser part of the equation for the present.
Given that producers are running close to full capacity, and scrap supplies are coming from all quarters (reports of train tracks being stolen in the middle of the night in Philipines and steel from towers in Malaysia!!), we are getting closer to crunch time and a large price spike is in the wind.
My thoughts are that copper short-supply will be the trigger as live warrants account for only 50k tonnes of LME stocks and about 40k short tons on COMEX - Shanghai data is still 3 weeks old but held under 30k tonnes then.
High oil prices have done very little to dampen metals demand. So with 12 months of continuing product price rises behind us, another 20% jump in commodity prices over the next 3-4months is in the realms of possibility.
Add to this a weakening dollar and all the ingredients for higher base metals prices are locked in place - just a waiting game now.


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rederob
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Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - 09:03 pm:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



A measure of the ability to get commodities to world markets is the Baltic Dry Index, which has its base in the price levied by various shipping fleets carrying dry materials across our oceans.
The Baltic index has risen over 20% in the past month to now stand at 5442, which is closing on its all time peak of 5681 set early this year.
Meantime, euro strength has placed commodity purchases on a cheaper footing (ie low USD) so tonight the metals complex is rising firmly - copper about to recapture early year record highs.
Little wonder BHP has had a blinder this week - and more to come.


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rederob
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Thursday, November 25, 2004 - 11:25 pm:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



Copper has breached 16 year highs tonight, following gold's trend, and that of metals generally.
Commodity strategists had been waiting for technical confirmation of copper's uptrend as technical downside was potentially severe - we now have resistance to fall back on as support (and it's a 16year high!).
Certainly we have a weak greenback to thank in part, but remember also that copper inventories are near all time lows, and 15 years ago daily usage was nothing near today's.
With LME inventory dropping 2,400tonnes tonight funds will be wondering if their futures contracts will have anything left for 3 month delivery!!!
It's getting very tight, the squeeze is on, and the "hug" is nearer still.


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rederob
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Sunday, November 28, 2004 - 06:53 pm:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



With the Yukos matter still unresolved, oil is not likely to dip severely near term - analysts are suggesting around $60 by Xmas with any cold snap in northern hemisphere. Although crude inventories are building, heating oil reserves in US are at the low end of the scale, so it won't take much to tip the balance to the upside. Asian demand remains robust and refineries are just coping. It is improbable that prices medium term will fall to any degree, if at all.
If anyone is aware of how USD weakness traditionally impacts on POO, grateful for comments.




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rederob
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Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - 07:58 am:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



Aluminium was the only base metal not to rise overnight, although it had a large warehouse drawdown.
LME nickel stocks continue to rise on a daily basis but largely due to apparent contrivance by Norilsk delivering into Liverpool (where there is no metal demand) so as to keep premiums high!!!
With Nissan likely to close several Japanese production lines for several days due to steel shortages, with WMC having no excess nickel available for sale over the past month, with China contracting for increased quantities of iron ore in 2005, with the Baltic Dry Index now at records levels, and with Norilsk's peculiar actions I have little doubt that nickel prices will do a bolter in coming months.
Hope to post price charts at week's end when we could see copper, lead, aluminium and zinc all at recent historical highs: Nickel is a long way off for now, while tin is rangebound between $8,500 and $9,300 (around 6 months now).
Again, BHP should locally remain a standout stock and $16 won't be far away.


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rederob
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Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - 08:04 pm:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



Borrowed a snippet from Bloomberg tonight.
Note that although LME copper inventories are showing a slight gain, in reality available stock dropped 10% overnight - and cancelled warrants now account for a third of inventory.

Total inventories in warehouses monitored by exchanges in London, New York and Shanghai yesterday fell to 129,985 metric tons, the lowest since November 1996 and less than four days of world supply.

Copper in London has risen 48 percent in the past year and 4 percent in two months on concern about inventories and as the weaker dollar made the metal cheaper for buyers outside the U.S. Metal stocks are getting down to all-time lows, Daniel Hynes, a resources analyst at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Melbourne, said in a telephone interview today. ``The U.S. dollar has been providing some support.''



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josbarr
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Wednesday, December 08, 2004 - 07:50 am:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



Technical traders who try to forecast a market's direction by analyzing patterns in prior price and volume data started selling futures when prices fell below $42.05, the low on Dec. 3, said Marshall Steeves, an analyst at Refco Group Inc. in New York. Prearranged orders to sell futures at specific prices, known as stop orders, were triggered as prices moved lower.

``The next price to look at is $41.30, the low on Aug. 30, and $41.05, the low on July 26,'' Steeves said. ``If we break through those supports we'll be looking at the $40 area and the lows we hit in July.''

An increase in distillate supplies would be the third- straight weekly rise. Inventories for the week ended Nov. 26 were 10 percent lower than during the same week last year.

Heating oil for January delivery fell 2.61 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $1.2236 a gallon in New York, the lowest close since Sept. 15. Prices have declined 24 percent from the record $1.6033 a gallon touched on Oct. 22.

Crude-oil supplies probably fell by 750,000 barrels. Eight of the analysts expected a decline and four said stockpiles rose. Inventories were 3.2 percent above year-earlier levels in last week's report.

The U.S. Energy Department is scheduled to release its weekly petroleum inventory report tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. in Washington.

Saudi Arabia

Prices rose yesterday after the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, left eight people dead. The Saudi Arabian branch of al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the assault on an Islamist Web site. The desert kingdom is the world's biggest oil exporter and OPEC's most influential member.

The Nigerian ventures of Royal Dutch/Shell Group and ChevronTexaco Corp. cut oil production by 120,000 barrels a day while militants ended their occupation of three pumping stations in the Niger River delta. Nigeria is the fifth-biggest supplier of oil to the U.S.

The protesters today left ChevronTexaco's Robertkiri pumping station and Shell's Ekulama 1 and 2 stations in Rivers state, which they occupied on Dec. 5, company spokesmen said. They couldn't say when output will resume.

`Weak' Market

``The inability to rally strongly yesterday is a sign of how weak this market is,'' said John Kilduff, senior vice president of energy risk management at Fimat USA Inc. in New York. ``If any of these events had occurred six months ago, it would have sent us to new highs. The market has shrugged it off and is continuing its downward move.''

In London, the January Brent crude-oil futures contract fell $1.38, or 3.5 percent, to $38.27 a barrel on the International Petroleum Exchange, the lowest close since July 26. Brent futures have declined 26 percent since reaching $51.95 on Oct. 27, the highest since the contract began in 1988.

OPEC member Libya wants the group to target oil prices of at least $35 a barrel and to scrap its upper limit, Prime Minister Shokri Ghanem said, as a weaker dollar erodes the buying power of members' oil revenue.

OPEC's price target is $22 to $28 a barrel. The benchmark price, which is less than futures contracts because some grades are of lower quality, has exceeded the range for a year and yesterday rose to $34.89 a barrel.

Officials of OPEC have sent conflicting signals on whether the price target should be changed. Iran's oil minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, in Tehran yesterday said the OPEC price target won't change, Agence France-Presse reported. A committee of OPEC representatives who met in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in October recommended the group make no change now in its price targets.



To contact the reporter on this story:
Mark Shenk in New York at mshenk1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Robert Dieterich at rdieterich@bloomberg.net.
Last Updated: December 7, 2004 15:37 EST


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rederob
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Sunday, December 12, 2004 - 12:08 am:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



Shanghai had 11,000tonnes of copper delivered into its warehouse on Friday, and propped up an ever dwindling supply in China - probably staving off a "squeeze" as China's Reserve may take delivery of 30,000tonnes on 15 Dec.
LME and COMEX copper stocks remain is steady decline - dropping a combined total of 20,000 tonnes over the month.
These drawdowns continue despite strong backwardation (typical cash/3's around $100/tonne), heavy scrap contribution, and production at full tilt.
So the fundamentals support yet another rally for copper over $3,000/tonne and, with the distinct possibility that $3,000 becomes support in 2005.
Nickel stock at LME warehouses continue to rise by the week and we are now at 18,400tonnes - around half inventory levels at year's commencement. Technically nickel is due another bounce as it's back into oversold (tin also).
Aluminium is looking anaemic and will probably be rangebound or lower next week.
The Baltic Dry Index has finally dropped from its peak of 6208 on Tuesday, tho is well above its early year high.
While the excitement has gone out of base metals, general tight supply will see high prices in play for some time.


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rederob
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Monday, December 20, 2004 - 09:46 pm:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



Looking into the crystal ball, what is becoming clear?
First, copper inventories continue to dwindle despite backwardation attracting stocks to warehouses from literally anywhere: Look for further price increases into 2005, albeit with a thinner market as speculators steer clear of being "squeezed".
Nickel inventories have risen firmly in the past month and are near levels of a year ago. This is interesting as steel supplies have been so low as to cause Japanese car production lines to shut down - was it an over-reaction to high prices?
Given coking coal exports are running at capacity from Australia, and its principally for refining steel, nickel usage will be high in 2005 so a return to tight supply may not be far off.

Lead remains in tight supply and its price will continue to firm and rise slightly into 2005.
Zinc inventories are showing signs of drawdowns that typified copper a year ago - this could be one of the surprise packages next year - Zinifex shares may do well again.

But my favourite for 2005 is aluminium. Chinese rebates on production fall away in 2005 so massive stock drawdowns are likely in the first half of 2005. Aluminium's intensive need for electricity, combined with higher energy prices in 2005, makes production of this metal a conundrum in developing countries.

All in all, I doubt if base metals will be weaker in 2005 than in 2004. Perhaps the strong uplegs experienced this year will be muted in 2005, though I would not be surprised to see higher highs across the complex.
The real issue will be to pick the turning point as it is improbable that such high prices can be sustained across 3 years.

That said, look for the emergence of India as both a consumer and producer of much greater import: With a billion people even small percentage increases in demand will add significant pressure to prices.


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rederob
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Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - 12:21 pm:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



I today have a $2.10 buy on ZFX and will see how that goes.
But I post now to try to work out nickel's story.
It seems that funds are diving in to nickel and a few other commodities as China is removing some tax rebates on base metals.
Nickel's strong rise - over 10% in 2 days - is counter-intuitive in that it is the only base metal to have consistently increased its warehouse stock levels over recent months.
Rumoured reason for LME restocking of nickel is that China and Russia are running down inventory into a tight market, and that this "one off" event is about to end.
A telltale sign that nickel truly is in tight supply is gleaned from WMC's website where, over the past 3 months it has been impossible to buy excess product. (Even WMC's cobalt, which was falling away badly, has bounced back 10% in the past few weeks.)
Given that we know coking coal demand has led to its price doubling in 12 months, and steelmaking is its key use, nickel will be highly sought in 2005.
If it proves true then nickel, which remains in tight supply despite good restocking of late, will bolt over $17,000/tonne in May/June when Inco's one month statutory maintenance closure and Norilsk weather problems take effect.
Watch for a tailing off in nickel restocking early in 2005 for a sign they were right, and its price holding over $15,000/tonne going forward.


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justice
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Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - 12:31 pm:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



Hi rederob,
Do you mean you placed a buy order at 2.10 expecting a pullback in upcoming weeks?

Cheers,
Ice.


Unlike a gambler, a speculator cannot successfully play the game at just any time. The speculator patiently waits until the odds are wildly on his side that a certain market move is “inevitable”, to use Jesse Livermore’s immortal words, before launching his trade.

Faber est suae quisque fortunae.
Each man is the smith of his own fortune.~ Appius Claudius Caecus

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rederob
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Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - 02:10 pm:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



Yes, ice.
I'm pretty sure ZFX will pull back, but it may not necessarily get to my buy order's price.
However, I'm determined not to chase the price up as with both my last buys (SMS and TEN) the price dropped to my original bid a week after my buys went through - and I thought I was reasonably patient!!!
Zinifex is an interesting company as it's widely exposed to metals and also produces some alloys.
At this stage I see nothing to suggest 2005 base metal prices will be lower on average than this year's, so I reckon ZFX is a reasonable addition to the portfolio.


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justice
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Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - 02:20 pm:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



Fair enough redeRob,
I thought you might have meant you already owned it. Sorry for the silly question. Using the same yoyo principle I've put in an order for CBH at 18 which I perhaps also don't expect to fill.

Cheers, Ice


Unlike a gambler, a speculator cannot successfully play the game at just any time. The speculator patiently waits until the odds are wildly on his side that a certain market move is “inevitable”, to use Jesse Livermore’s immortal words, before launching his trade.

Faber est suae quisque fortunae.
Each man is the smith of his own fortune.~ Appius Claudius Caecus

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rederob
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Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - 02:31 pm:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



ice
CBH chart suggests 18cents is a shoe-in.
Moreover, notice the final retrace after each leg-up which is pretty much to the cent: Meaning the rise will be orderly afer breaching, successively 14, 15, 16 and soon, 17cents.
Seems a neat play.
Trust your festive season will deliver lots of happiness.


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justice
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Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - 02:46 pm:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



Yeah Rob,

You have a Merry Christmas too.
A Merry Christmas to everyone.

Kos.


Unlike a gambler, a speculator cannot successfully play the game at just any time. The speculator patiently waits until the odds are wildly on his side that a certain market move is “inevitable”, to use Jesse Livermore’s immortal words, before launching his trade.

Faber est suae quisque fortunae.
Each man is the smith of his own fortune.~ Appius Claudius Caecus

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rederob
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Thursday, December 23, 2004 - 07:54 am:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



Thought there would be no action leading into Xmas?
Copper sold down heavily overnight - opportunistically, as drawdowns place stock levels at a 14 year low.
Seems thin trade and small warehouse levels will rock copper back and forward at wider daily margins than many have anticipated.
Aluminium bucked the general downtrend of base metals overnight and posted a 9year high price. As stated in earlier posts, my view is that aluminium will be a star performer into 2005 and its overnight peak is an omen.
Be wary of analysts that place great store in America/Japan as key drivers of demand - they are and will remain important, but they do not have the population bases nor growth in sheer wealth/consumerism emanating from Asia.


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rederob
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Friday, December 24, 2004 - 12:40 pm:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



A few thousand years ago certain commodities were highly prized as gifts.
Indeed, it is told that wise men had bestowed gold, frankincense and myrrh to a young chap destined for greatness.
By the way, frankincense and myrrh are both resins - dried tree sap - that come from trees of the genus Boswellia (frankincense) and Commiphora (myrrh), common to Somalia.

Whatever your beliefs - religious, political or aspirational - may this festive season be filled with happiness amongst your friends and loved ones.
Thank you IC for the opportunity to share our thoughts and views on the markets.
I pray everyone stays safe and returns refreshed in 2005 for another crack at fate.

Deus vobiscum


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rederob
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Monday, January 03, 2005 - 01:08 pm:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



Scanning the various forecasts for base metal prices this year shows some interesting views.
Commsec, for example, expects the average price of all base metals - except tin - to fall in 2005.
Man Metals, on the other hand forecasts every base metal to increase in price, albeit by only a few percent - based on much weaker demand during the second half of 2005.
The immediate scene shows that aluminium is at a 9 year high, zinc at a 4 year high and copper at a 2.5 months high after earlier reaching a multi-year record high.
From its recent lows, zinc was the laggard not even making a 100 per cent rise, while nickel and lead have risen about 200 per cent since their lows, and copper 150 per cent.
Tin may surprise this year as the tsunami has disrupted much of the small-scale - but overall large volume - tin dredging around Sumatra.
BHP's diversity (add oils to its list) will see it profit handsomely in 2005 and I am sorely tempted to add it to my portfolio after selling it 2 years ago!
Instead, I have recently been plumping for metal-specific stock but, alas, often missing the first big jump in its price.
My view is that the first half of 2005 will see most metals reach historic highs before sheer price gains subdue demand: I do not see "natural" or fundamental demand tailing off near term.
Add to the equation some very thin stock levels - copper, tin, lead and nickel - and there could be some greatly exaggerated movements each way in 2005, making for a bumpy ride as funds try to work out the best bang for their buck.


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vermante
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Monday, January 03, 2005 - 02:21 pm:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



REDEROB,

The Base Metals Index displayed at Kitco.com covers a short term time period. Any knowledge of a same/similar index which covers a longer time frame( Ex -: A couple of years)an ease of access

Cheers

Vermante


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rederob
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Monday, January 03, 2005 - 04:20 pm:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



Can't help you vermante - the sites I visit are free.
LME has a daily index but its historical data is now on a costed basis depending on what you need.
Readers may know of other indexes and there suggestions are welcome.


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vermante
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Tuesday, January 04, 2005 - 03:21 pm:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



Thanks Rederob,

Good Trading in 2005



Cheers


Vermante







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rederob
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Tuesday, January 04, 2005 - 05:45 pm:Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    View Post/Check IP (Moderator/Admin only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only) Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



vermante
I didn't read your post properly as GFMS does have a 5year chart, plus I have taken the liberty of posting the last 12months action.





 
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Commodities - base metals/oil » Archive through August 11, 2005rederob25 11-Aug-05  08:19 pm
Commodities - base metals/oil » Archive through July 05, 2005rederob25 05-Jul-05  08:20 pm
Commodities - base metals/oil » Archive through May 02, 2005archer67 02-May-05  08:50 am
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Commodities - base metals/oil » Archive through February 02, 2005rederob25 02-Feb-05  11:48 pm
Commodities - base metals/oil » Archive through November 16, 2004rederob25 16-Nov-04  03:04 pm

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