China Top Stories

Shanghai copper, zinc inventories near 3-year high as virus hits demand

Copper stockpiles rose 4.1% to 310,760 tonnes this week, while…

Gold price plunges with biggest slide since 2013

Spot gold fell as much as 4.5%, the most intraday…

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Steel, iron ore prices likely to soften as demand destruction in China takes hold

John Garnaut identifies a disturbing trend for iron ore exporters, with Chinese steel prices falling and iron ore prices expected to follow, he writes in the Sydney Morning Herald. Garnaut quotes Chinese analysts saying that capacity utilization is declining because steel demand and prices are falling, while the prices for raw materials used in steelmaking — namely coal and iron ore — remain high. The steel and iron ore markets were bracing for "volatility on a declining trend", said Yin Jimei, an analyst at Iron & Steel Information Website in Tangshan. Xu Xiangchun, at Mysteel in Shanghai, said market anxieties over the global economy have coincided with softening domestic demand including a decline in railway construction due to a series of scandals in the Ministry of Railways.

Codelco chief urges China to restock on low copper price

As the price of copper drops to a 14-month low on speculation of sluggish demand for industrial metals, the chief executive of Codelco — the world's largest copper producer — said buyers in China should take advantage, Bloomberg reported.

Hanlong buys Sundance for US1.57B

A Chinese company has made another bid to secure iron ore and other metals beyond its borders. On Tuesday Hanlong Mining said it will buy Perth-based Sundance Resources for US$1.57 billion. AFP reported that Hanlong will acquire Sundance through a scheme of arrangement, after lifting its offer to 57 cents cash per share from 50 cents back in July.

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$19 million pink diamond could break auction record

IDEX reports on Wednesday Sotheby's is auctioning a 9.27-carats fancy vivid pink emerald-cut diamond at a sale that will likely attract collectors that have not seen such stones auctioned for a while. Collectors and dealers have paid top prices for exceptional diamonds at auctions in Hong Kong, repeatedly setting record prices, but offerings like the rare VVS1 clarity pink diamond carrying a pre-sale estimate price of $12.8-$19.2 million, have been scarce recently. If the gem sales at the upper end of the range it could set a new per carat record of $2 million-plus.

Asian and Australian markets down sharply, gold up

The Hang Seng Index was down 4.38% and S&P/ASX 200 slid 2.78% over fears of euro zone contagion and the risk another recession may be looming. Gold is up and at $1657/oz. It closed last week at $1624/oz. Hang Seng was also hit by worries about the casinos in Macua. There is less credit available from China, which may dampen revenue from gambling.

Substition hurts rare earth demand

Subsitution is driving rare earth demand down, according to analyst Dudley Kingsnorth speaking at an industry conference in China. Kingsnorth is executive director of Industrial Minerals Company of Australia. Dudley told the Metal-Pages(TM) Minor Metals and Rare Earth Conference in Beijing last September that he is dropping projected demand of rare earth oxide per annum to 170,000 tonnes from a previous forecast of 195,000. For example manufacturers of rechargeable batteries may start using lithium ion materials instead of a nickel-metal hydrid, which uses the light rare earth lanthanum.

Loyal Silvercorp investors come out ahead after dark and stormy month

Shareholders who held onto their Silvercorp Metals stock during the rollercoaster ride that started on September 2 when the company had to disclose fraud allegations and a massive short position in its stock, had something to show for their loyalty on Friday. Silvercorp, China's biggest silver miner, is now worth more than it was before the scam was exposed. You had to have nerves of steel though – volumes sky-rocketed, intra-day swings reached 22% and at one point shell-shocked owners were down a net 30%. And what is most remarkable: Silvercorp's gains are into the teeth of a silver price that has dropped 27% and a sector slaughtered along with it.

Minmetal Resources offers $1.3 billion for Anvil Mining

Minmetal Resources bought Anvil Mining for $1.3 billion, representing a 30% premium over Anvil Mining's average share price. The Anvil Board has unanimously approved the offer. Anvil's key asset is the Kinsevere mine, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Minmetal says its annual copper output will grow by 60,000 tonnes per year, an increase of 60%. The mine is expected to have about a 14 year life.