Wednesday, March 20, 2013

New Details on Silver Wheaton Conference Call

PR Newswire

New details provided for March 22, 2013 conference call; Silver Wheaton to release 2012 fourth quarter and full year results on March 21, 2013

VANCOUVER, March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Silver Wheaton Corp. (TSX:SLW) (NYSE:SLW) will release 2012 full year results on Thursday, March 21, 2013, after market close.
A conference call will be held Friday, March 22, 2013, starting at 11:00 am (Eastern Time) to discuss these results. Please note that the phone numbers and pass codes for this call have been updated. To participate in the live call, please now use one of the following methods:

Dial toll free from Canada or the US:1-888-231-8191
Dial from outside Canada or the US:1-647-427-7450
Pass code:26000662
Live audio
Participants should dial in five to ten minutes before the call.
The conference call will be recorded and you can listen to an archive of the call by one of the following methods:
Dial toll free from Canada or the US:1-855-859-2056
Dial from outside Canada or the US:1-416-849-0833
Pass code:26000662
Archived audio
SOURCE Silver Wheaton Corp.

© 2013 PR Newswire

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Commodity ETFs Getting Inflows after Abandonment of Gold

The boom in equities has resulted in investors abandoning gold positions as they feel safer than they have since 2008. Receiving some of that capital inflow are commodity ETFs with exposure to a wider array of materials.

According to Lipper, which tracks funds, "General Commodities Funds" received over $1 billion in February, as the price of gold has been under heavy pressure. That follows a decent January as well, where the amount was slightly over $1 billion in inflows to the general commodities funds. The February inflows were the highest in almost a year.

Precious metals funds on the other hand had outflows of just under $4 billion in February, following the $765 million in outflows in January. The $4 billion in outflows from precious metals funds was the highest since Lipper began tracking them in 2004.

The vast majority of precious metal ETF outflow was from the SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed ETF.

In the first couple of weeks of March, over $1 billion more in outflows from precious metals ETFs occurred.

Lipper analyst Matt Lemieux, who compiled the data, said this, "If you find gold isn't your place to be now and don't want to move all your money to equities and other high-yielding products, then the more-diversified and actively-managed General Commodities Funds might be for you."

Leading in commodity-based ETFs was PIMCO's Commodities PLUS Strategy Fund, which had inflows of $264 million in February. Behind them in second was the Fidelity Series Commodity Strategy Fund which took in just under $210 million.

For SPDR Gold, the outflow for February was $3.8 billion.

In general, precious metals ETFs have significant outflows as of March 13, with almost $1.3 billion taken out so far.

It's likely that most of this won't change too much until the disaster that is the EU is brought back into the media headlines.

It's almost inconceivable that the largest economic region in the world is being ignored, being the financial disaster it continues to be. After all, look what tiny Cypress did when the focus latched on to it.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Whether for Investment or Industrial Purposes, Silver Remains a Winner

From its high about 22 months ago, silver has plunged a little over 42 percent from that time, and is down in 2013 by 5.8 percent in just over a couple of months.

With investment and industrial demand strong, and supply weak, it is only a matter of time before a bottom is found and the price of silver makes a big move.

Investors have been a little wary lately because of the downward pressure on the white metal, but they are also aware a bottom is forming, and they don't what to be caught chasing the price as it moves up.

For some reason analysts are believing the mainstream media reports about a global recovery, even as data show it is holding at best. The job numbers released are largely from part-time jobs rather than full-time, and the numbers are almost surely to be significantly downwardly revised.

But even if the global economy is growing, that is positive for the industrial side of silver demand, which supply would be hard to meet. Analysts at this time are mostly looking at the price movement of silver as they perceive it is going to respond to investment outlooks.

Even there it seems they are wrong, and silver won't be held back too long, although as with all commodities, especially this volatile one, it's impossible to accurately pinpoint when that will happen. Personally I don't think it's going to be long before we see silver prices shoot up again.

Gold gets a lot of attention as to being bought up by central banks, but these same banks have also been the biggest buyers of silver over the last year, and so far in 2013 they have made the largest silver purchases in 49 years (1964).

When looking at numerous investment and financial firms, the majority of them see silver prices this year rising to a range of $33 an ounce to $37 an ounce.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Some Copper Analysts Getting Bullish on Alleged Recovery

Some analysts believe the media reports and scattered data are representative of an real economic recovery, and see copper prices rising in the near future; possibly as early as next week.

That is contrary to hedge funds, who have betting copper prices will continue falling. They've been betting against copper since August.

According to a Bloomberg survey, of the twenty analysts queried, thirteen of them believe copper prices will rise next week. Four of them see copper falling, while the other three are neutral on copper prices in the near term.

Traders on the other hand are betting against that positive outlook, believing the price of copper will fall after moving up since November. Inventories climbing to a two-year high is the reasoning there.

Supply of copper has pressured prices downward, as they've doubled since September. Even so, Barclays (BCS) says within the next six months stockpiles will fall and shortages will return.

According to Barclays, China and North America account for 53 percent of copper demand, so how they go, overall, so will go copper. Optimistic growth estimates of 8.3 percent in the second and third quarters for China and 2.8 percent for America, may drive up the copper demand.

The question is whether this is being far too optimistic.

In the two middle quarters, Barclays sees copper demand soaring by 288,000 tons, reducing the surplus to 56,000 tons. Goldman Sachs (GS) is also bullish on copper, predicting copper will reach $9,000 in six months.

Data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission sow traders aren't as optimistic with copper, as they hold a net-short position of 7,172 futures and options as of February 26, the highest amount since Aug. 14, compared with a net-long position of 11,413 contracts the prior week.

As measured by warehouses tracked by LME, it appears at this time that hedge funds and speculators may be closer to the truth, as inventories jumped on Wednesday to 481,225. There was a plunge in copper withdrawal orders, which dropped 68 percent since early January 2013. On March 6 they stood at a nine-month low.

Assuming the U.S. and China do grow at projected levels, the other key player in copper demand is Europe, which accounts for 17 percent of global demand. With the recession continuing there, and another year of contraction expected by the IMF, demand could dwindle significantly which would increase supply.

As usual there are mixed signals that aren't easy to interpret. But my thought is copper supply will probably continue to outpace demand, and prices in 2013 are likely to remain under some pressure.

There is simply nothing economically to suggest the global economy is growing at a pace that contradicts that high probability. Europe is really worse than is presently being reported, and it's quite possible that's the same with China and the U.S.

We need to tread carefully with copper, keeping a skeptical eye on the reports the media seem to be trying to spin so positively.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

What is the Future of the British Pound?

The drastic 8 percent plunge of the British pound against the U.S. dollar, and the uncertainty as to how Britain should interact with Europe, has many questioning what the role of the British pound, and Britain itself, will be in the future.
The currency’s 8% decline versus the dollar this year has the feel of something more than a cyclical move. A currency that functioned as the world’s reserve currency for a century and a half before the dollar took on that role, and which fostered financial institutions such as central banking, may be sliding into the sunset.
The triggers for the most recent bouts of sterling selling have come from a string of relentlessly weak U.K. economic numbers, which have raised fears of a “triple dip” recession — at least until this week’s surprisingly positive data from the services sector. But the bigger story is a more existential one: with the turmoil experienced since 2007 in its most powerful industry — banking — and the euro zone charting a more independent course, many are wondering what Britain’s role in the world will be.
continue reading ...

Freeport (FCX) Could Double China Copper Sales in 3 Years

Mining giant Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE: FCX) could double its copper sales to China over the next three years, said Freeport's senior vice president of marketing and sales, Javier Targhetta.

At this time Freeport provides about 500,000 tons of copper to China, with expectations growth will soar to between 800,000 to 1 million metric tons by 2016.

Targhetta says since 2005 find the sale of copper concentrate to China have jumped 10 times. Copper concentrate is the material used in wiring and pipes.

“We hope to significantly increase sales to China in the coming three years,” Targhetta said. “We are one of the ones increasing our mined production. Certainly the Chinese market is a good one for us to place part of new concentrate that we will be producing.”

In 2013, estimates are China will increase its imports of copper concentrate by about 17 percent.

Now the price of copper needs to reverse to make it more profitable for Freeport and other copper suppliers.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hugo Chavez Dies: Good for Commodities?

The flamboyant and egotistical leader of Venezuela - Huge Chavez - died Tuesday after a two-year battle against cancer. The question now is will there be a more business-favorable replacement of Chavez, or will Venezuela remain a backward, socialist country barely able to make it.

Chavez bought the love of the poor in the country by nationalizing industries and then feeding some of the poor while offering them free health clinics in the poorest parts of the country.

Those that he bought using the goods and capital of others will miss him, but the cost of nationalizing energy especially, as always, results in a loss of production.

Opponents of the mini-dictator will be glad he is out of the way as he has largely wasted the natural resources that would have, and should have, been put to better use. Unfortunately, socialists can't see the devastating effects of wealth distribution, and over time always end up being a destructive force.

Assuming Vice President Nicolas Maduro steps into his shoes (or whoever does), it'll be interesting to see if policies in the country towards commodities continues on. Since there are always large numbers of poor under wealth redistribution schemes, it's going to be hard for whoever follows Chavez - even if they were more favorable to capitalism - to change things without social unrest that comes from government dependence.

Maduro does appear to have a strong lead over his competitors to replace Chavez, but it's not clear if he has the charisma and strength to follow in the footsteps of goal of Chavez. He has said he wants to continue on in that vein, but rhetoric is different from reality, and pressure will rise from a variety of places to get what they want.

It was the somewhat benign but bombastic personality of Chavez that allowed him to get away with what he said, which was really more theater than a true threat. Madura doesn't have that same personality, so it could be much harder for him to command the attention and faithful and adoring followers Chavez did.

As for commodities in the country, it's unlikely some major change will happen in the near term, but there is always a point in socialism, as history has proven over and over again, when it can no longer sustain itself.

Many in Venezuela see that, and they are the ones hopefully that will influence the country going forward; no matter who ends up leading it.

Interestingly, the more desirable and probable opponent of Maduro, Capriles, would probably have beaten Maduro under any other circumstance, but he is likely to ride the emotion people have attached to Chavez and now passed on to him when Chavez picked him as his preferred successor in December 2012.

Maduro has positioned himself as a Chavez clone, but it's almost assuredly so he would be in the position he is in at this moment. More than likely we'll find out if he is really a Chavez or a pretender seeking power. Hopefully it's the latter.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Arckaringa Basin Lays Peak Oil Myth to Rest

Many commodity and investment experts I respect have asserted for quite some time that we have in fact reached an end to easy oil deposits in the world, even though there are many places that haven't even been explored that carefully to be able to make that assumption and assertion.

The most recent and obvious case in point is the discovery of the giant shale oil reserves in the Arckaringa Basin in Australia.

Yet even in Australia it's highly likely there are more huge oil deposits to be discovered, which would boost the idea that we have a ways to go yet before peak oil is based upon any semblance of reality.

Even when other large shale oil discoveries were made in North America, peak oil adherents refused to acknowledge that there could be a lot more oil available than we know of in the world.

Of course most are coming from the point of view of geopolitical concerns, meaning some governments and parts of the world - including America - refuse to allow energy companies to explore off their coasts in inland.

In the northeastern part of the United States, even after huge oil and gas deposits were found, they are trying to keep companies from extracting it and selling it to the world.

The other major factor is the religious belief in mythological global warming issue, which is a total lie, as the world hasn't warmed for well over a decade, and the true believers have had to change the name to "climate change" in an attempt to silence those who have exposed the lie for what it is.

After all, when the term climate change is used it's impossible to refute because in fact the climate has always been changing, and it has nothing to do with fossil fuels whatsoever, as past long-term weather cycles have proven.

This is why the term peak oil continues to be used by some who assert no significant deposits of oil have been discovered recently, even after the numerous shale oil and gas deposits were found.

Some of done this through habit and assumptions, while others have willfully and willingly perpetuated the peak oil myth.

After the Arckaringa Basin discovery and estimates of oil in it, there can no longer be an excuse for the peak oil assumption, as it has, for now, been laid to rest. I personally believe we're only at the beginning of more major oil discoveries, which will change the world for decades; not only in energy provision, but in the geopolitical realm as well.

Oyu Tolgoi Gets $4 Billion Financing Commitment

One of the largest mines in the world - Oyu Tolgoi - has received confirmation and commitment from several sources for a $4 billion financing package.

Interestingly, part of that financing is coming from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. It confirms the quality and quantity of the resources at Oyu Tolgoi, as Europe has significantly cut back on mining financing over the last couple of years; one of the major reasons the junior miners have been struggling to secure capital.

Rio Tinto (RIO) said, “This is a further important step in securing long-term project financing for the development of Oyu Tolgoi.”

The other major entity committing to financing the project is the International Finance Corp., which will commit about $400 million in a regular loan, and as high as $1 billion in a syndicated loan.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is contemplating about $400 million for the project. Financing for the deal has yet to be officially signed off on.

Production at the mine is expected to begin in about June 2013, although Mongolia has demanded a higher percentage of the mine than the agreement they originally agreed to.