Commodities

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Australian gold producers hit an all-time production record in 2018. Australia produced 317 tonnes of gold in 2018, breaking the previous record of 314.5 tonnes set  21 years ago. Gold prices timed the opportunityfor Australia with an all-time record of AUD 1876 per ounce on February 20.

Goldman Sachs raised their price forecast for gold and silver on Monday night in a note to customers. The $GS rationale is higher ETF inflows, Geopolitical risk, stronger emerging markets, weaker U.S. dollar and negative real interest rates in Europe.

The Brazilian state of Para lifted the production embargo on the Norsk Hydro ASA’s Alunorte alumina refinery. The Norwegian aluminum maker's ADR $NHYDY rose about 1.5% on the news.

The new London Metal Exchange alumina contract will be settled in part by using data from the Fastmarkets MB index, with shared weight given to the CRU’s Alumina price index.

Nickel along with other commodities has bounced over USD 11,800 per tonne, 10-week highs as stockpiles fall to fresh lows paring some of the losses suffered over the second half of 2018. Macquarie Bank forecast nickel to finish 2019 as the number one commodity.

Commodities in 2018 were hampered by the strong US dollar which rose from mid-April, a collapse in oil prices from early October and the ongoing U.S.-China trade war. The best performers were cocoa, wheat, oats and last years best palladium. The worst performers were Gasoline, WTI Crude, lumber and sugar.

South Africa's coal production is expected to soon drop drastically MP Consulting senior coal analyst Xavier Prevost predicts.  This is due to  low investment in new coal mining capacity and older mines reaching the end of their lives.

Following the derailment of a fully loaded BHP iron ore train in West Australia AAP reported the miner does not have sufficent iron ore stockpiled at Port Hedland cover scheduled shipments. The train was deliberately derailed with rail operations  now suspended.

The Australian state of Queensland will unveil proposed resource regulations and an "insurance fund" to pay for the remediation of old mines. The aim is for resource companies, not taxpayers, to pay for the rehabilitation of the environment.

Australian rare earths miner Lynas Corp saw it's shares leap 12% on Friday after comments from Malaysia's new prime minister about the upcoming environmental review of its processing plant in the country. Lynas shares had fallen 27% on concerns the company's plant would be closed. 

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