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Monday, March 12, 2007

What Global Slowdown?

Wasn't it just last week the doomsayers were warning of a global slowdown? Look at these headlines this morning ...

China's Trade Surplus Surges Three Times More Than Forecast; Exports Jump China's trade surplus was three times bigger than economists expected in February, giving more ammunition to U.S. lawmakers calling for a stronger yuan.

Japan's Economy Expands at Fastest Pace in Three Years on Capital Spending Japan's economy expanded 5.5 percent in the fourth quarter, the fastest pace in three years, as surging exports prompted companies to increase spending on factories and machinery.

India's Industrial Output Rises at Faster-Than-Expected Pace in January India's industrial production grew more than expected in January, stoked by surging consumer demand.

Copper, Nickel Rise on Speculation Stockpiles Will Fail to Meet Demand Nickel gained to a record in London on speculation that an increase in stockpiles will be insufficient to satisfy growing demand for the metal used in stainless steel. Copper and lead also advanced.

Rio Tinto Says China's Demand for Metals Will Advance, Underpinning Prices Rio Tinto Group, the world's third- largest mining company, said China's demand for metals will likely rise, underpinning high prices for commodities this year.

Speaking of Chinese demand for metals, here is a nice table of Chinese resource consumption ...
  • Steel consumption rose 17.2% to 450 million metric tonnes (992,070 million pounds)
  • Aluminum consumption jumped 32.1% to 8.65 million tonnes
  • Cement consumption increased 14.5% to 1.2 billion tonnes.
  • While China’s official copper consumption dropped by 4%, the numbers are skewed by the fact that the State Reserves Bureau sold off 200,000 tonnes in 2006, according to a report from Beijing Antaike Information Co. This copper was used by industry but not included in the official figures. Taking that into account, China’s copper consumption jumped 3.26%.
One last chart ... Weekly Silver!

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