Tag Archives: copper

(BN) Copper Faces 2-Year Shortage, Peak Over $10,000, Trafigura Says

(BN) Copper Faces 2-Year Shortage, Peak Over $10,000, Trafigura Says
2010-12-07 09:29:56.282 GMT

By Claudia Carpenter
Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) — Copper supplies will lag demand for
at least the next two years, with prices peaking over $10,000 a
metric ton in the second quarter next year, according to
Trafigura Beheer BV, which considers itself the world’s second-
largest trader of industrial metals.
Copper will move from a balanced market this year to
shortages of 800,000 tons in both 2011 and 2012 at current
prices, Simon Collins, head of refined metals at Trafigura in
Lucerne, Switzerland, said in an interview yesterday. That’s
even before demand climbs as exchange-traded funds backed by the
metal are introduced, he said.
Such funds “will result in higher prices, which in turn
will affect price-sensitive demand and price-sensitive supply,”
Collins said. “Consumers are concerned about an ETF.
Inventories are already relatively low.”
Copper prices are up 21 percent this year, and reached a
record $8,973.50 a ton today, partly as manufacturers and other
buyers who anticipate shortages build inventories to meet demand
for next year, Collins said. Imports into China, the world’s
largest consumer, typically are strongest in the second quarter,
helping to boost copper prices and leading gains in lead, nickel
and aluminum, he said. Copper stockpiles tracked by the London
Metal Exchange have slid 30 percent this year.
In 2006, the copper market was also forecast to have a
large deficit when higher prices brought the market further into
balance than originally estimated, Collins said. If prices rise,
next year’s deficit may be only 400,000 tons, he said.
Copper Trading
Trafigura trades about 1 million tons of copper a year,
Collins said. Glencore International AG is the largest trader of
industrial metals, according to Trafigura estimates.
Trafigura is preparing for more metals demand by customers
and increasing its warehouse capabilities through its subsidiary
NEMS, with plans to expand in the U.S. next year for the first
time with storage facilities in Baltimore and New Orleans, as
well as in China, Collins said. He declined to give an estimate
of the investment.
Copper demand may rise if JPMorgan Chase & Co., BlackRock
Inc. and ETF Securities Ltd. start ETPs backed by the metal, in
line with plans announced by all three companies in October.

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–Editors: Dan Weeks, John Deane.
To contact the reporter on this story:
Claudia Carpenter in London at +44-20-7330-7304 or
To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Claudia Carpenter at +44-20-7330-7304 or

still not ready to accept reality…

Investors realise gold is not all that glitters

By Ellen Kelleher

Published: October 29 2010 18:30 | Last updated: October 29 2010 18:30

The focus of investors scouting about for value in the precious metals market has shifted to palladium, platinum and silver, as gold now trades at record levels.

Investment flows into exchange-traded funds (ETFs) backed by platinum and palladium have about matched or exceeded those wending their way into gold-backed ETFs in the last month, data from ETF Securities shows.

The rise in the metals’ prices is just as impressive. The cost of palladium – used as a catalyst in converters that clean car exhausts – soared 93 per cent to $626 a troy ounce in the past year, hitting a nine-year high thanks to a pick-up in interest from hedge funds. Silver – the poor man’s gold – now costs $23.73 per troy ounce, having risen more than 45 per cent in the same period. And platinum – palladium’s sister metal and a requisite component in diesel car engines – trades at more than $1,680 a troy ounce.

“Much like gold and platinum, palladium has experienced a QE2 sugar rush, not looking back since its $459.25 low of August 12 after the Fed decided to hold its balance-sheet constant,” said Edel Tully, a UBS commodities strategist.

The uptick in interest in the metals stems from the uncertainty surrounding the economy as well as fears about another round of quantitative easing in the US, and concerns about currency depreciation.

But volatility remains a concern. Starting next week, precious metal prices are likely to see sharp swings because of expected announcements from the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve, analysts forecast.

“Between now and the Federal Open Market Committee day, precious metals will likely endure patience-testing and see-saw price action,” wrote Tully in a recent note.

But even if prices swing in the near-term, longer-term forecasts for palladium in particular and platinum as well look compelling.

“Of all the precious metals, we’re most bullish on palladium,” claims Walter De Wet, head of commodities research at Standard Bank in London. “Demand is also strong for platinum but not as strong as it is for palladium.”

Demand for palladium is set to continue to exceed supply in the coming years as ownership of petrol-based cars becomes commonplace in China and other emerging market countries.

At the same time, palladium’s supply looks constrained. Some analysts speculate that the Russian government’s stockpiles of palladium may have dried up. Sales from the Russian government have added about 1m ounces of palladium supply annually in recent years.

UBS’s Tully forecasts that a shortage of supply from Russia could push palladium prices above $1,000 per troy ounce. Platinum prices, meanwhile, which have been rising since late 2008, look more toppy by comparison. Analysts argue that they have been pushed higher by speculators and the flow of money into emerging markets, which tends to boost commodities demand. While some expect platinum – the only metal that can be used as a catalytic converter in diesel engines – to rise higher yet in 2011, they think a correction is likely one day given that the metal has fewer industrial uses than palladium and is more costly.

“We believe that platinum positioning is over-extended; particularly as no ‘new’ fundamental driver has emerged,” says a recent UBS commodities research report.

Prospects for silver, meanwhile, are even less clear. While the metal still trades at record levels, commodities experts claim that it tends to move in line with the gold price. They warn that history suggests silver underperforms gold when markets fall and outperforms it when they rise. “The silver market surplus is quite bloated at the moment,” points out Suki Cooper of Barclays Capital. “If investment demand slows down for silver, we’re likely to see a sharp correction.”

But “silver fever” is still all the rage, with sales of silver coins set to hit a record high this year. Standard Bank’s De Wet concludes that gold and silver prices – which continue to benefit from strong interest from Asia – will see support through the Chinese new year which begins in February.

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List of companies involved in the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners

List of companies involved in the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners

But this happened because the Chilean people, government and President were more interested in doing whatever it took, and accepted whatever would help from sources around their country and around the world.  They did not allow false nationalism nor internal politics nor special interests to stand in the way of their heartfelt national effort to retrieve their trapped brothers.  The Chileans organized the worldwide effort and made it work.
This displays true compassion, maturity and unity of purpose by the Chilean people and is what made the rescue successful.
List of American companies who contributed to the rescue of the Chilean miners.
Organizations from other lands were likewise involved.
The Chilean President was most gracious in recognizing all those who helped create the Chilean miracle. 

  • · Schramm Inc. Of West Chester, Pennsylvania built the drills and equipment used to reach the trapped miners. 
  • · Center Rock Company, also from Pennsylvania , built the drill bits used to reach the miners. 
  • · UPS, the US shipping company, delivered the 13-ton drilling equipment from Pennsylvania to Chile in less than 48 hours. 
  • · Crews from Layne Christensen Company of Wichita Kansas and its subsidiary Geotec Boyles Bros. Worked the drills and machinery to locate and reach the miners and then enlarge the holes to ultimately rescue them. 
  • · Jeff Hart of Denver Colorado was called off his job drilling water wells for the U.S. Army’s forward operating bases in Afghanistan to lead the drilling crew that reached the miners.
  • · Atlas Copco Construction Mining Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin provided consulting on how to make drilling equipment from different sources work together under differing pressure specifications.
· Aries Central California Video of Fresno California designed the special cameras that were lowered nearly a mile into the ground sending back video of the miners.
· Zephyr Technologies of Annapolis Maryland, made the remote monitors of vital signs that miners will wear during their ascent.
· NASA Engineers designed the ” Phoenix ” capsule that miners would be brought to the surface in, and provided medical consulting, special diets and spandex suits to maintain miners’ blood pressure as they’re brought back to the surface.
· Drilling Supply Co., Houston also involved.
  • Canadian-based Precision Drilling Corp. And South-African company Murray & Roberts, drilled  backup rescue shafts in case the American rig failed. Which fortunately did not happen.