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August 4, 2020

  • Weekly Market Report

Commodity Market Developments

Macquarie reports that “Turkey’s HMS (75:25) steel scrap prices have extended their gains this week rising to $270/t (+$25/t since early June) according to the latest Platts’ assessment. With the easing of lockdowns in Europe and U.S., we had expected scrap prices to fall as collection and production from manufacturing plants improved.
  • Instead, seaborne prices in both Europe and Asia have moved higher so far this quarter, boosted by a quick turnround in demand in Turkey and a strong pull for billet from China. The sustained weakness in the USD, especially against the euro (a key source of scrap to Turkey) has also proved a tailwind more recently.”
  • In nonferrous market developments, Fastmarkets reports that “Chilean copper producer Codelco will restart shuttered capacity at its Chuquicamata copper smelter this weekend, with a ramp-up of smelting and refining expected to hit full output in early August, Fastmarkets learned on Friday July 31. More workers will be allowed to return to the site with sanitary measures in place at Chuquicamata, one of the world’s largest copper complexes, a source familiar with the matter said. Codelco suspended the smelter and reduced the refinery operations to 30% of capacity after an outbreak of Covid-19 forced the on-site workforce to be disbanded on June 26. The refinery at the complex later ramped up to a higher operating level of around 50%, with Codelco processing residual anode stock and external raw materials from the market. As such, refined output is being targeting 100% capacity by August 10, an executive at the company told Fastmarkets.”
  • For the latest zinc market developments, check out Andy Home’s column at Reuters. 
  • As for precious metals, our friend Edward Meir reported on Friday that “We are seeing an impressive snap-back in the precious metals group, with gold up another $23 right now and knocking on $2000. Silver is up 78 cents at $24.13, but the buying is not extending to either platinum or palladium, both getting crushed yesterday and quietly mixed right now, at $916 and $2114 respectively.”

Have Questions?

Joe Pickard
Chief Economist
Director, Commodities

JoePickard@isri.org
(202) 662-8542
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