Commodity Corner

Views on commodities and energy

Live from London Metal Exchange Week 2009

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Nickel The great and good of the global metals industry gather for London Metal Exchange week — the flagship event for the industry.

With most base metal prices running way ahead of fundamentals, real and apparent demand unclear and leading economies at different stages of recovery or not, its a key time to take the temperature of banks, producers, consumers and funds involved in metals.

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Chartists say base metals in bear market rally, for now

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After the Federal Reserve said last week it would buy about $1 trillion of long-term U.S. debt, copper rallied to price levels seen in November.  Other base metals followed higher. 

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Technical analysts at RBC Capital Markets referred to current metal action as “jobbers markets and not trends,” warning bulls “to beware of getting married to their positions in these choppy and uncertain times.” Others chartists said they were looking for confirmation of the price rally from demand indicators and would not recommend buying metals until the had clearly turned bullish.

Clueless about copper … in Chile?

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Nearly 20 foreign correspondents showed up this week to a meeting at the Chilean Copper Commission (Cochilco) to hear the world’s top authority on copper give guidance on where prices were headed.

Maybe copper has not been the sexiest story.  But as a mining correspondent based in Santiago, it must be the first time I’ve attended a news conference where most of the reporters had absolutely no clue about the metal.

Women drivers better than men in the mining monster trucks

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One of the unexpected findings from executives and analysts attending the monstertruck02.jpgCESCO and CRU copper conferences in Santiago, Chile: Women are better drivers than men in those house-sized trucks roaming surface mines around the world. They’re said to be more cautious and that reduces wear and tear on the 13 feet-high tires they rumble around on.

Watch this video uploaded to YouTube to see the monster-of-monster trucks in action.