Markets - June 2017

Parlaying the Positives of PGMs

On May 17, Chis Griffith, CEO, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) addressed London Platinum and Palladium Markets during Platinum Week in London. He is passionate about platinum group metals and reminded the group that prices, especially for platinum, are at historically weak levels in real terms in many currencies.
Much of the recent market commentary is about oversupply with platinum and that miners have shown little discipline. “That’s an accusation that has at least the ring of truth about it,” Griffith said. “But it does seem to me unfortunate that we as an industry have allowed other people to dictate the narrative, to accentuate the negative, and to underplay the positive stories.”

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Markets - May 2017

Global Lithium Ion Battery Market to Explode Over the Next Decade

The global lithium ion battery (LIB) market is expected to grow six fold over the next 10 years, creating unprecedented opportunities for graphite developers. Addressing the Paydirt Australian Graphite Conference in Perth during April, only the second time the sector’s key forum has been held, the ASX listed Battery Minerals’ Executive Chairman David Flanagan, said the scope of the LIB market opportunity should not be under-estimated.

“This market was worth around $1 billion last calendar year and industry experts are putting a total value on it by 2027 of around $60 billion,” Flanagan said. “Of this total sector, at least half of that value or some $30 billion, will come from the actual materials market required to provide componentry for the batteries.

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Markets - April 2017

Zinc Market Expected to Grow for Next Five Years

According to the latest market study released by Technavio, the global zinc market is projected to grow to 19.68 million metric tons (mt) by 2021, at a compound annual growth rate of close to 4% over the forecast period. This research report titled Global Zinc Market 2017-2021 provides an in-depth analysis of the market in terms of revenue and emerging market trends. This market research report also includes up-to-date analysis and forecasts for various market segments and all geographical regions.

The report categorizes the global zinc market into four segments, based on application: galvanizing, alloys and castings, brass and bronze, and other applications. “Galvanizing is the largest application segment of the global zinc market, generating more than 48% of the overall revenue,” said Ajay Adikari, a lead analyst at Technavio for metals and minerals research. “The major offerings of the segment include galvanized painted GP and galvanized coated GC steel products, galvanized structural steel products, both light and heavy, and galvanized steel wires.”

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Markets - March 2017

Cobalt Prices Surge on Investor Buying

Cobalt prices broke out in February climbing to $51,250/metric ton (mt) from $37,750/mt, a 35.8% increase, according the E&MJ Price Index. With the exception of lead, which was down 2.7% for the month, prices for other metals improved modestly with single-digit percentage gains. At the end of December 2016, E&MJ reported cobalt prices of $32,900/mt or $14.95/lb. Since then, the metal has climbed to $23.70/lb, a 58.5% increase in value in two months. So, what’s up with cobalt?

The price increase is tied to investor hoarding in anticipation of increased demand related to electric vehicles, according to Reuters and the CRU Group, who said electric car and plug-in hybrid vehicle sales could hit 4.4 million by 2021 and more than 6 million by 2025, from 1.1 million last year. By 2020, 75% of lithium-ion batteries will contain cobalt, whose properties allow electric cars to extend their range between charges, according to eCobalt Solutions, which produces battery-grade cobalt salts.

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