SMM Metals Reports

Indian Airport Customs seize Rs 160 million worth smuggled gold biscuits

 Author: Paul Ploumis26 Mar 2015 Last updated at 08:38:13 GMT
NEW DELHI (Scrap Monster): The Indian Customs officials at the Ahmedabad International Airport foiled a major gold smuggling attempt. Six persons including a woman were arrested while trying to smuggle 60 kilograms of gold from Dubai. The seized gold is worth nearly Rs 160 million, customs officials said.
Cliford Anthony D’costa- a resident of Mumbai and the mastermind behind the plot along with other two passengers- Virendra Singh Sultan from Haryana and Sapna Dipakbhai from Mumbai had boarded the flight from Dubai. Acting on a tip off, the officials intercepted the passengers. Upon checking the baggage, they found nine boxes containing 60 gold biscuits and cash in various currencies. The officials also arrested the two receivers and their driver who were supposed to collect the smuggled gold outside of the airport.
According to police, the same gang have been smuggling gold from Dubai to India through Ahmedabad airport. This is the sixth time that they have smuggled gold into the country. Describing the modus operandi of the gang, A K Sharma, Joint Commissioner of Police stated that the gang used to locate passengers at airport who are willing to work for them. The gold is then hidden in their baggage. The passengers are paid Rs 50,000 per trip apart from food and hotel accommodation charges. The receivers are provided with the mobile contact number of the agents. The agents, in turn, identify the receivers with the help of photographs sent on their mobile through WhatsApp and handover the gold behind closed doors.
Ina separate incident, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officials arrested three persons on charges of smuggling 7.83 kilograms of gold worth over Rs 2 crores. The gold was found concealed inside the gear box of the car that they were travelling in. All the three were arrested under Section 104 of the Indian Customs Act.

Gold's safe-haven status to take a hit; Prices to head lower: CPM Group

Author: Paul Ploumis
25 Mar 2015 Last updated at 08:22:07 GMT
NEW DELHI (Scrap Monster): The Annual Gold Year Book released by the New York-based consultancy firm CPM Group has predicted further weakness in gold during 2015. The precious metal is likely to lose its safe-haven status on easing concerns about faltering global economies. Consequently, gold is likely to face multiple challenges with prices seen declining for the third year in a row.
According to Jeffrey Christian, Managing Director, CPM Group, Comex bullion futures are most likely to average at $1,208 per ounce during 2015, down by nearly 4.6% when compared with the previous year. The challenges that existed in golf during the previous year are expected to carry over in 2015 also, CPM Group noted.
Several factors had led to declining gold prices in 2014. Relatively weaker fabrication demand from China and stronger US dollar and equity markets are cited as some of the reasons for the terrific fall in gold prices last year. Adding fuel to fire, oil prices also had started slipping towards the end of the year. In addition to all these factors, gold prices may face further resistance in the face of probable US interest rate hike announcement. Such speculations could drive gold prices to significantly lower levels.
However, CPM Group expects that downside is limited for gold in 2015, as the negative impact of all of the above factors seems to be already priced in. The fabrication demand is likely to increase during the year to 96.9 million ounces, higher by 4.2% when compared with 2014. However, the rise in fabrication demand may not be enough to push the gold prices significantly. Any weakness in enthusiasm for US dollar could bode well for gold, noted CPM Group.

Aluminum Prices in South China Shed Another RMB 30/mt (Mar. 24, 2015)

SHANGHAI, Mar. 24 (SMM) – April aluminum on the SHFE aluminum drifted lower, dampening sentiment in south China spot market. A small number of processors and traders with sufficient cash went bargain hunting. Mainstream traded prices dropped RMB 13,130-13,140/mt. 

Gold Could Push To $1,200 Next Week If U.S. Dollar Remains Weak – Analysts

Author: Paul Ploumis
23 Mar 2015 Last updated at 05:36:06 GMT
(Kitco News) - What a difference a few days can make as the gold market sees renewed optimism, ending the week solidly positive on the back of a weaker U.S. dollar and lower U.S. treasury yields.
Comex April gold futures settled the week $1,184.60 an ounce, 2.31% higher since Monday. Earlier in the week, just before the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, a strong U.S. dollar dragged the yellow metal to a low of $1.141.60 an ounce.
Comex May silver futures had an even better week, settling at $16.883 an ounce, up 8% since Monday. Silver futures closed Friday at their highest level since Feb. 17.
Analysts noted that gold rallied as a result of investors being caught off guard after the FOMC released a more dovish-than-expected monetary policy statement and lower economic growth projections. Although the central banks removed the key word “patient” from the statement, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said during her press conference that the committee will not be “impatient” to raise rates.
Looking ahead to next week, with little economic data to be released, analysts are expecting gold to continue to take its cue from the U.S. dollar. Most commodity analysts see room for the yellow metal to move higher as investors take some of their U.S. dollar profits off the table.
Colin Cieszynski, senior market analyst at CMC Markets, said that he could see gold take a run up to $1,200 an ounce next week, but it might not have enough momentum to break that key psychological barrier.
"The U.S. dollar has been on a spectacular run so I think we could see it consolidate lower, which would be positive for gold,” he said.
Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank, said that he could see gold test resistance at $1,190 an ounce next week as it consolidates with support at $1,150. He agreed that the U.S. dollar’s long overdue correction will have the biggest impact on gold prices.
"It’s too early to say if this is the start of a new leg higher for gold,” he said. “A break above resistance at $1,193 would confirm that $1,140 is once again a decent area of support.”
Nic Brown, head of commodity research at Natixis, said that the recent U.S. dollar correction is helping all commodity markets, and although there is growing optimism in the marketplace, they need to wait and see if the U.S. dollar has topped out before expecting to see a sustainable gold rally.
"If that is the case then gold, silver, [platinum group metals], base metals, energy, most commodities, have the potential for more upside,” he said.
Gold Could React To Economic Reports As Fed Is Data Dependant
Although next week isn’t packed with economic data, analysts noted that it could play a role in U.S. dollar direction, especially after the Federal Reserve said that any change in monetary policy will be data dependant.
Hansen said that one of the reasons he is looking for a weaker U.S. dollar next week is because, aside from nonfarm payrolls, most of the data - going back to December - has disappointed. “The market has ignored all this negative data to focus mostly on potential rate hikes,” he added.
"The economic data does not paint a very good picture,” he said. “I think we can expect to see more of the same.”
Next week, financial markets will receive more housing data with the release of existing and new home sales numbers. Economists from Nomura said in a recent report? the housing sector is stagnating because of the lack of new buyers.
Markets will also receive inflation data with the release of the February Consumer Price Index on Tuesday?
Although the Federal Reserve said in its monetary policy statement that they expecting to see weaker inflation in the near-term, economists at CIBC said that disappointing core inflation numbers could further delay expectations of a rate hike. Analysts noted that this scenario would be positive for gold prices.
The week ends with the release of the final report on U.S. fourth-quarter gross domestic product. However, most economists are now focused on the first quarter of 2015, which is quickly coming to an end.
Along with economic data, Cieszynski said that investors should also pay attention to what is happening in Greece as funding talks are expected to resume again. Greece is once again pushing back against austerity measures, but with no new funding deal, there is a chance they would default on their debt and be forced out of the eurozone.
“Any breakdown in funding talks next week is going to be positive for gold, as a safe-haven asset,” said Cieszynski. “However, any gains on political uncertainty might not last. We have seen these kinds of rallies fade pretty fast when the problems are resolved.”

SMM Copper Market Morning Review (2015-3-23)

SHANGHAI, Mar. 23 (SMM) – Last Friday, the US dollar index moved widely and crude oil prices bounced back. LME copper prices climbed above USD 6,000/mt and touched a high of USD 6,081/mt to end at USD 6,040/mt, gaining nearly 3.5%.
SHFE 1506 copper contract became the most active one during night session last Friday, and rose above all major moving averages helped rallying LME copper and short covering. The June-delivery copper touched a high of RMB 43,540/mt with longs entering the market and closed the session up RMB 1,300/mt at RMB 43,430/mt. Positions in the June delivery copper increased 15,104, and trading volumes soared to 310,000 lots.
SHFE 1505 copper contract should trade at RMB 43,200-44,200/mt on March 23. Spot copper may be quoted at discounts of RMB 150-200/mt to SHFE 1504 copper contract.