TELF AG, a renowned international physical commodities trader with three decades of industry expertise, has released its comprehensive analysis of Week 37’s market activities. This report delves into key shifts in commodities, energy sectors, and essential economic indicators. The analysis covers macroeconomic developments, metal price trends, and specifics within the battery materials industry. Noteworthy findings include the surge in European natural gas futures, substantial fluctuations in chrome ore prices, and changes in stainless steel and base metals.
According to TELF AG’s report, European natural gas futures witnessed a significant uptick driven by macro-level factors, including the breakdown of union talks and strikes at two major Chevron facilities in Australia. Despite the surge in gas prices, European fuel reserves have reached historic highs for this time of year, surpassing EU targets. The report also notes minimal changes in oil prices, with Brent crude and U.S. West Texas Intermediate experiencing minor declines. TELF AG highlights the influence of Saudi Arabia and Russia’s decisions to extend supply cuts on these prices, despite concerns about Chinese economic activity. Additionally, the Baltic Dry Index, which measures shipping and trade, saw a decline primarily due to a drop in the Baltic Capesize Index, despite an uptick in the Baltic Panamax Index.
In terms of chrome ore, TELF AG reports substantial price increases driven by shipping issues, particularly at Richards Bay. Strong Chinese demand for ferrochrome has contributed to price stabilization. Regarding Ferro-Chrome (FeCr), Chinese spot prices remained consistent, while European prices increased. In contrast, U.S. prices declined due to weak demand and international market influences.
Manganese (Mn) dynamics show Chinese silicon manganese mills reporting increased tender prices for the week. Mn ore prices in China also increased, supported by rising alloy tenders and increased sales. Indian manganese alloys recorded price increases following the monsoon break. TELF AG notes a rise in Chinese FerroSilicon (FeSi) production in August, marking a significant month-on-month increase with total production reaching 450,000t.
In the stainless steel sector, domestic prices in China experienced an uptick due to changes in housing transaction policies and a rise in nickel futures. TELF AG reports increased stainless steel output in China in August, with projections indicating a substantial rise in September. The analysis notes that copper prices saw a general decline for base metals but showed some recovery due to concerns about China’s economic trajectory. Chinese copper output in August increased year-on-year. Conversely, nickel prices have been on a downward trend since the beginning of August, influenced by increased Indonesian nickel supply and stagnant demand for stainless steel.
Finally, in the battery materials segment, TELF AG highlights an increase in China’s nickel sulfate output in August compared to the previous year. However, cobalt sulfate production in China witnessed a decline in August on a month-on-month basis, although year-to-date production remained higher year-on-year.
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