The metals industry was dealt quite a few big surprises in 2013, prompting some sharp intakes of breath in the Metal Bulletin offices.
Hotline takes a look back over some of the key jawdropping moments of 2013:
- Deutsche Bank’s announcement that it would withdraw from the commodities sector.
- Noble taking the Nyrstar zinc offtake agreement, hiring analyst Duncan Hobbs from Macquarie and establishing a metals jv with Mick Davis and TPG... all in the space of one week.
- Martin Abbott parting ways with the London Metal Exchange.
- The LME’s proposal that warehouse companies be required to deliver out more metal than they draw in at storage locations where large load-out queues have developed.
- A raft of lawsuits against the LME, big banks and warehousing companies over an alleged conspiracy to restrict aluminium supplies and inflate aluminium prices and premiums.
- Copper stocks hitting ten-year highs by mid-year, then declining on a nearly daily basis throughout the remainder of the year, to a ten-month low.
- Indium stocks on the Fanya exchange reaching almost 2,000 tonnes, over three times world primary production, from 495.80 tonnes at the end of last year, pushing indium prices to their highest level since late 2011.
- Ferro-tungsten prices hitting their lowest level since 2010 in March at $38.90 per kg, before climbing all the way to $50 per kg, after a production cut.
- Vedanta being dropped from the FTSE 100 for Royal Mail
- The supercycle didn’t end. It definitely didn’t end. Because it doesn’t exist. Actually, it does exist, it’s just resting, or perhaps dead. Oh, no it isn’t. It is alive, it’s just in a less-super phase. But it will definitely end before the next one begins. Whatever it is, one thing is certain: it is definitely vague.