OIL & GAS December 2017

Brent oil prices rose steeply to US$64.3 a barrel in early November then weakened to US$61.4 a barrel mid-month before rallying to generally hold above US$62 a barrel for the remainder of the month. This can be attributed to supportive signals from Saudi Arabia and Russia for another extension of the production cut deal beyond March 2018, which was formally agreed to by OPEC members on the 31st of November.

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LNG December 2017

Despite light trading, the November LNG spot price continued its strong run as Chinese, Korean and Indian buyers secured supplies ahead of winter demand. China and Korea are in particular expecting colder weather, while the governments of all three nations are pushing for more natural gas usage in a drive to lower air pollution levels.

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METALLURGICAL COAL December 2017

The November spot price for premium low-volatile HCC averaged US$191/t FOB Australia, up 5% from October, with prices beginning to rebound strongly from the second week of the month amid port congestion at the key HCC exporting terminal of Dalrymple Bay in Queensland, Australia.

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THERMAL COAL December 2017

The November spot price for premium Australian thermal coal averaged US$95/t FOB Newcastle, down 1.0% from September. The price declined from ~US$100/t at the start of November to US$92/t, then rose to US$95/t by the end of the month. The spot price for Newcastle high ash thermal coal averaged US$76/t in November, a fall of 3% on month.

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IRON ORE December 2017

The iron ore spot price (CFR China, 62% Fe fines) rebounded in November after two consecutive monthly falls lifting 4.3% month on month to average US$64/t. The impact of the 2+26 Chinese cities winter production cut that commenced in mid-November was less severe than previously expected as production loss are partially compensated by improving utilisation rates at steel mills in regions not subject to the cuts. Chinese steelmakers that previously kept low inventories returned to the market for restocking as steel prices lift and margins improved.

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STEEL December 2017

Chinese domestic rebar and HRC prices increased month on month, averaging US$626/t and US$619/t respectively. Chinese domestic rebar prices surged 5.4% to end the month at a five-year high, fueled by supply uncertainties, falling inventory levels, and increased input material costs.

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COPPER December 2017

The month-average copper price rose 0.3% in October to US$6,827/t (US$3.10/lb). This small rise made November the sixth consecutive month in which the monthly average increased. Exchange refined copper inventories of 547kt at the end of November were down 3.9% from 569kt at the end of October. LME stocks in Asian warehouses declined by 81kt to 87kt during the month, but the drop was largely offset by a 61kt increase in SHFE stocks to 169kt.

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NICKEL December 2017

The average LME nickel price in November increased 6% month on month to US$12,016/t (US$5.45/lb), the highest monthly average since June 2015. The nickel price peaked in early November at US$12,870/t (US$5.84/lb), after climbing dramatically from US$10,304/t (US$4.67/lb) at the start of October, before declining over the month to around US$11,300/t (US$5.13/lb).

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ZINC & LEAD December 2017

On the back of rising Chinese refined zinc production and a cooling Chinese economy, the zinc price closed November 4% lower than the month prior at US$3,177/t (US1.44/lb). This was the first time since May 2017 that the monthly closing price was lower than the previous month. The cooling of the Chinese economy comes as China’s industrial output eased from 6.6% to 6.2% in October.

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ALUMINIUM December 2017

AME reports the global average aluminium spot prices (ex-China) averaged US$2,141/t (US$0.97/lb) in November, a drop of 0.9% from the October average of US$2161/t (US$0.98/lb). The range of AME spot prices over the month has widened, with prices from US$2095/t up to US$2190/t, closing the month at US$2102/t.

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