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Weekly Mining Market Summary - Bad Week for Metals

Despite the lower U.S. dollar, it was a bad week for metals, with only gold improving amongst the major metals.

Iron ore led the retreat, falling 11.5% to US$57.70 per tonne (62% Fe material). The London Metal Exchange's three-month contract for copper closed on Friday 5.2% lower than a week earlier at US$4,790 per tonne. Week-on-week the three-month price of nickel slumped 4.9% to US$9,025 per tonne, aluminum fell 4.3% to US$1,607 per tonne and zinc slipped 3.6% to US$1,874 per tonne. Gold was the only beneficiary of the falling U.S. dollar, rising 2.6% to US$1,289 per ounce.

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On the corporate front, Glencore Plc announced lower year-over-year production in the first quarter for copper, zinc, lead and coal. Production from own sources in the three months to end-March dropped 4% for copper to 335,000 tonnes, 28% for zinc to 257,100 tonnes and 6% for lead to 71,000 tonnes. Coal production fell 17%, compared with the year-ago quarter to 29.7 million tonnes. Production of nickel, gold, silver and cobalt improved on a yearly basis.

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