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Commodity Price Barometer: February 2013

- By: Natalie Staffurth
Posted in: Blog, Commodities


An update to the monthly Greenfields Research Commodity Price Barometer, where commodity prices are ranked on a barometer style rating of stormy (low) through fair (medium) and dry (high) comparing current spot prices to five year prevailing averages. Commodities are further divided into those rising and falling from their current positions. This months results show continued good news for tin, tantalum and palladium and continued bad news for the cheaper end of the rare earth elements sector and gallium.

The majority of the rare earths are still falling, the exceptions being dysprosium and praseodymium which have remained constant since November. Despite this, most rare earths are still in the fair value range, but with yttrium, lanthanum and cerium at recent historical lows and falling.

Silver and gold remain at recent historical highs but both are now falling. Antimony has fallen from being a “dry” commodity in November into the fair value range with tungsten and zinc, both of which are also falling. Gallium, which rose briefly in October has now fallen again and joins lanthanum and cerium in the “stormy and falling” category.

The number of commodities rising equals the number falling and includes palladium, tantalum and tin in the “dry and rising” markets. The “fair and rising” are bismuth, copper, indium, iron ore, lead, nickel, platinum and uranium, though this fair range is quite wide. Cobalt, molybdenum and rhodium are the “stormy” commodities but which may be beginning to rise.

As ever if you feel there are any interesting “mineable” commodities missing from the barometer, please let us know and we’ll see if they can be added.

Dry (and rising) +25% 5yr ave. with m-o-m increase

  • Palladium
  • Tantalum
  • Tin

Dry (but falling) +25% 5yr ave. with m-o-m decrease

  • Gold
  • Silver

Fair (and rising) -25% to +25% 5yr ave. with m-o-m increase

  • Bismuth
  • Copper
  • Indium
  • Iron Ore
  • Lead
  • Nickel
  • Platinum
  • Uranium

Fair (but falling) -25% to +25% 5yr ave. with m-o-m decrease

  • Antimony
  • Tungsten
  • Zinc
  • Dysprosium
  • Europium
  • Gadolinium
  • Neodymium
  • Praseodymium
  • Terbium

Stormy (but rising) -25% 5yr ave. with m-o-m increase

  • Cobalt
  • Molybdenum
  • Rhodium

Stormy (and falling) -25% 5yr ave. with m-o-m decrease

  • Gallium
  • Cerium
  • Lanthanum
  • Samarium
  • Yttrium

Technical notes

Prices are January monthly averages compared to the five year average (February 2008-January 2013), except for uranium and iron ore where December 2012 monthly average prices are compared to the five year average (January 2008-December 2012).

All commodity prices are from our friends at Metal Pages, except gold and silver which come from the London Bullion Market Association; and iron ore and uranium, which come from Index Mundi.

Product specifications are Antimony Regulus min 99.65% Grade II (EU); Bismuth min 99.99% (EU); Cobalt min 99.3% Russian (EU); LME Cash Copper;  Gallium 99.99% CIF Main Airport (EU); LMBA Gold morning fixing; Indium min 99.99% (EU); China import Iron Ore Fines 62% FE spot (CFR Tianjin port); LME Cash Lead; Molybdenum Roasted Concentrates (Oxide) Mo 57% (EU) Mo; LME Cash Lead; Platinum 99.95%  AM/PM fixes (EU); Palladium 99.95% AM/PM fixes (EU); Rhodium min 99.9% (EU); LMBA Silver Fixing; Tantalite basis 30% Ta2O5 (EU) Ta2O5; LME Cash Tin; Tungsten APT (EU); Index Mundi UxC Uranium U3O8 Swap Futures End of Day Settlement Price; LME cash zinc; Ce Oxide 99% min FOB China (CN); Dy Oxide 99% min FOB China (CN); Eu Oxide 99.9% min FOB China (CN); Gd Oxide 99% min FOB China (CN); La Oxide 99% min FOB China (CN); Nd Oxide 99% min FOB China (CN); Pr Oxide 99% min FOB China (CN); Sm Oxide 99% min FOB China (CN); Tb Oxide 99% min FOB China (CN); and Y Oxide 99.999% min FOB China (CN).