Copper Market Moves Into Deficit

The International Copper Study Group (ICSG) released preliminary data for August 2014 world copper supply and demand in its November 2014 Copper Bulletin. According to preliminary ICSG data, the refined copper market balance for the first eight months of 2014 indicated a production deficit of 544,000 metric tons (mt). This compares with a production surplus of 42,000 mt in the same period of 2013.

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Exploration Spending Drops 25%

MarketsCompiling data for its 25th edition of the Corporate Exploration Strategies (CES) study, SNL Mining & Metals estimated worldwide total budget for nonferrous metals exploration dropped to $11.36 billion in 2014 from $15.19 billion in 2013—a 25% decrease.

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Prices for Metals Decrease Across the Board During September

Image titleBy Steve Fiscor, Editor-in-Chief

Market fundamentals are working against miners. Investor confidence, especially with the U.S. equities market, and an improving sentiment toward the U.S. economy are driving precious metal prices lower. According to the E&MJ Price Index (below), gold closed at $1,214.30/oz on October 2–its lowest level for the year. If the trend continues, and in all likelihood it will, gold will fall below the $1,200/oz threshold. Gold started the month trading at $1,289.30/oz and lost $74.90/oz during the month or 5.8%.

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Iron Ore Prices Slump to Multiyear Lows

Seaborne iron ore prices hit a five-year low on August 27, with the Platts 62% Fe Iron Ore Index (IODEX) falling $0.75 day-over-day to $88 per dry metric ton (dmt) Cost and Freight (CFR) North China. The last time the 62% Fe IODEX was lower was July 21, 2009, when it was assessed at $87.50/dmt CFR North China, according to Platts Metals.

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