Commodities hit new record

Missed this one yesterday. From the RBA’s Index of Commodity Prices: Preliminary estimates for May indicate that the index rose by 2.3 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after rising by 7.3 per cent in April (revised). The largest contributors to the rise in May were increases in the estimated export prices of


Correlated risk is off

Stock markets around the world are either in full flight correction (Australia) beginning, or wobbling along. Yesterday we had the Asian stock markets, with the ASX200 down 1.88%, Japan (Nikkei 225) down 1.52%, Hong Kong (Hang Seng) over 2.11% and Singapore 1.83%. This action was continued through to Europe, with the German DAX down 2%,


The silver highway to regulatory risk

Silver is not probably one of the metals you watch. While we hear about the price of gold all the time Silver is in many ways the poor cousin. But if there was ever going to be a useable metallic standard it would probably be silver rather than gold. This fact has been picked up


Commodity boom gets bigger

The RBA has released its monthly commodity index and its up substantially again. Even with the dollar, there is another 3.8 rise for April. Preliminary estimates for April indicate that the index rose by 7.6 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after rising by 0.8 per cent in March (revised). The


Silver’s Unrelenting March Higher

Another great guest post from The Bullion Baron. The current Silver rally is exhilarating. Even as I write this the chart I’ve used below is basically out of date with Silver having soared higher to almost US$42 during Asian trade today, only around $8 below it’s all time nominal high of $50 set in January


The mad, bad commodity rally

There’s something wrong with this rally. To be honest, beyond some vague notion of Japanese reconstruction demand, I can’t find any real cause for it. With China clearly not done with tightening, QE2 about to cease, the ECB hiking rates, global growth past its prime and oil punching through $1.10 on Gaddafi’s scorched earth policy,


Boom and bust is back

With Brent and WTI crude both surging to post-GFC highs Friday, I’m beginning to suspect that the world has entered a new era of oil price and growth volatility that spells the end of the Great Moderation. Why so? Supply and demand are the key to all things economic.  Previously at this site, the Unconventional


Rio has a whinge

Some days rent-seeking is a challenging business. Take Tom Albanese, CEO of Rio Tinto, who today held forth on the evils of government intervention in mining. According to Reuters: Besides, technical constraints, we are also seeing human constraints. We are seeing a combination of resource nationalism in some cases,” he said, citing “difficult governance” in


Gotti is wrong on oil

But should be congratulated for staking out a position, a rare event in today’s world of commentary flip flopping. As Deus Forex Machina likes to say, disagreement makes a market so let’s rip in. Gotti asks: Why should oil prices rise in response to the latest turn of events in Libya? We are already seeing


House prices, gold, and long-term investing

One thing I’ve always believed about investing (as opposed to speculating) is that it’s important to step back and take a look at the long-term picture. In the shorter term, markets are subject to periodic “manias, panics and crashes”, as Charles Kindleberger put it in his classic study of financial crises. But in the long-term,


Gold, Silver and Oil Ratio

As part of my “Crashlist” I regularly follow the spot price (in USD) for gold, silver and oil as they are the three benchmarks that measure the strength of the global economy, the value of the US dollar and the speculative excess inherent in modern global markets. Bullion Baron has some great insight into these


ABARE’s endless growth

Clearly ABARE does not heed RBA maverick, Warwick McKibbin. In its latest report , the national commodity tracker offers forecasts for the next four years of Australian commodity exports: Uninterrupted growth. And if we look at the economic assumptions underpinning this bonanza, we find a nice illustration of just how seamless it will be: The


The end of cheap oil?

The oil price may be about to soar, at the very least the events in the Middle East will have some effect. A Macquarie Equities report notes that worries about oil and gas transition through Egypt has turned into more concrete disruptions of supplies from Libya, which exports one third of the world’s spare capacity. The period of low oil


Super cycle or bust

BHP has reported its much anticipated mega profit, showing just how much better it is to be leveraged into the developing world than the developed world. The market predictably sold off on the news. As for what happens next, most brokers are bullish: Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, UBS and Royal Bank of Scotland all had buys. Morgan



From today’s AFR: The Gillard government’s revised mining tax will collect $60 billion less over 10 years that the resrouce super profits tax, raising questions about whether it can fund higher superannuation tax concessions and infrastructure spending. New figures released under the freedom of information (FOI) laws reveal that the mineral resource rent tax will


Kloppers, Marius Kloppers…

As this blogger keeps saying, not all markets are created equal. In strategic commodity markets, where governments are big players, the dynamics are not as simple as the balance of supply and demand determining equilibrium. In strategic commodities, when prices go up, demand does not fall. Rather, it increases as governments panic about security of


Revive the RSPT

Take a photo. This blogger agrees with Ralph Norris. The Rio Tinto result screams of the need for a resource rent tax. From The Oz: RIO Tinto has almost tripled its full-year net profit to a record $US14.32 billion ($14.25bn) after iron ore and copper prices surged last year, enabling the big miner to commit


Paul Krugman is wrong (updated)

A few days ago, Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman declared again that there is no ‘financialisation’ element to the current commodity price surge. He began: I’ve been getting a fair bit of correspondence insisting that political unrest, in the Arab world and elsewhere, is being caused by … Ben Bernanke. You see, quantitative easing is responsible for



This blogger has looked on in astonishment as the iron ore price has moonshot through a sequence of cup and handle formations to an all time high. There are a variety of reasons behind the rise, not the least being the blow-off in Chinese growth. However, a number of variables are now in play that


Pillars of boom

Yesterday Bloomberg published an interesting article on Rio’s iron ore output: Production climbed to 50.1 million metric tons in the three months from 47.2 million tons in the same period a year earlier, according to a statement today from London-based Rio, the second-biggest exporter of the commodity. The figure beat a UBS AG estimate of


Cash explosion

Reuters reports today that: Mining giant BHP Billiton Ltd has begun auctions for spot iron ore shipments to Chinese steel mills, local media reported on Friday, marking the latest shift in its pricing strategy to cash in on rocketing prices. BHP, the world’s third largest iron ore producer, has started to auction a 170,000-tonne spot