Welcome to the Precious Metals Bug Forums

Welcome to the PMBug forums - a watering hole for folks interested in gold, silver, precious metals, sound money, investing, market and economic news, central bank monetary policies, politics and more. You can visit the forum page to see the list of forum nodes (categories/rooms) for topics.

Please have a look around and if you like what you see, please consider registering an account and joining the discussions. When you register an account and log in, you may enjoy additional benefits including no ads, market data/charts, access to trade/barter with the community and much more. Registering an account is free - you have nothing to lose!

Red Sea Chaos Causing Global Oil Buyers to Shop Local​

By Sharon Cho (Bloomberg) —

The global oil market is looking increasingly local as militant attacks in the Red Sea and surging freight rates make supplies from closer to home more attractive.

A slump in tanker traffic through the Suez Canal is spurring the beginnings of a split, with one trading region centered around the Atlantic Basin and including the North Sea and the Mediterranean, and another encompassing the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean and East Asia. There’s still crude moving between these areas — via the longer and costlier journey around the southern tip of Africa — but recent buying patterns point to disconnection.



Bankrupt trucker Yellow repays $700 million Covid loan, Teamsters blast ‘failed executives’​

  • The bankrupt trucking company Yellow said Monday that it has fully repaid a controversial $700 million Covid loan to the U.S. Treasury Department, plus more than $151 million in interest.
  • The announcement comes nearly two months after a federal bankruptcy judge in Delaware approved Yellow selling most of its shipping centers and real estate for nearly $1.9 billion.
  • The Trump administration approved the COVID-19 era loan over objections by the Defense Department.
The bankrupt trucking company Yellow has fully repaid a controversial $700 million Covid loan to the U.S. Treasury Department, plus more than $151 million in interest, the company said Monday.

The announcement came nearly two months after a federal bankruptcy judge in Delaware approved Yellow’s request to sell most of its shipping centers and real estate for nearly $1.9 billion.

Meanwhile, unsecured creditors in the bankruptcy case, including employee pension funds, are seeking billions of dollars in payouts from what remains of the company.

“The money Yellow boasts that it’s repaid the federal government is but a fraction of the $5 billion that hardworking Teamsters gave back to this mismanaged company in wage and pension concessions for more than a decade, money that the workers to this day have not seen,” a spokeswoman for the Teamsters labor union, which represented Yellow workers, told CNBC.



Morning Bid: Rates rebound cools, China commands rally​

A look at the day ahead in U.S. and global markets from Mike Dolan

World markets found their footing again on Tuesday as China's panicky markets staged a sharp rally on reports the government may intervene directly and on a levelling off in U.S. Treasury yields after their jobs-inspired bounceback this week.

The early action was all in China however, where benchmark stock indexes recorded their biggest one-day jump in almost two years amid a swirl of reports about regulatory action to staunch the selling, state-sponsored purchases and rising concerns at the top of the politburo.



Shadow fleet faces tricky path to the breaker’s torch​

With the numbers of the so-called shadow tanker fleet peaking 10 months ago, there’s now evidence that many of the oldest vessels are being primed for scrap, though getting a good demo price for these sanctions-busting ships is proving hard.

The 25-year-old Bradley aframax is now headed on its final voyage to Pakistan to meet the breaker’s torch. The ship was first mooted for demolition last October when sold to a cash buyer for $500 per ldt, a deal that failed when it was accused of hauling Russian crude. The ship then remained anchored in the South China Sea with brokers BRS reporting recently it has now been sold for scrap at a cut price of $450 per ldt.



Morning Bid: Global calm returns, regional banks rumble​

February 7, 2024 6:03 AM EST

A look at the day ahead in U.S. and global markets from Mike Dolan

As a frenetic period of macro and corporate news calms, investors have emerged pretty buoyant about the state of world markets - with global stock indexes (.MIWD00000PUS), opens new tab clocking 2-year highs on Wednesday.

Rising hopes this week for some durable ceasefire in the 4-month Gaza conflict also helped calm market anxiety about how any escalating regional conflagration may start to affect energy and shipping costs.



This Year Could See a Significant Rebound in Rare Earths Metals Prices​

By Alex Kimani - Feb 06, 2024, 7:00 PM CST
  • Rare earth elements are a group of 17 metals used in magnets, lasers, defense technologies and various clean energy technologies.
  • Rare earth prices surged to record highs in 2022 before pulling back sharply in 2023 largely due to increased supply from China.
  • Shanghai Metals Market: Rare earth prices have likely bottomed out and could be poised for a rebound in the second half of 2024 on the back of strong demand by the electric vehicle and wind power sectors.
Rare earth prices have likely bottomed out and could be poised for a rebound in the second half of 2024 on the back of strong demand by the electric vehicle and wind power sectors, Shanghai Metals Market analyst Yang Jiawen has told Reuters.

Rare earth prices surged to record highs in 2022 before pulling back sharply in 2023 largely due to increased supply from China and slower-than-expected demand growth. For instance, the price of praseodymium oxide, one of the most widely used rare earth elements, in China tumbled 34% in 2023, while terbium oxide and neodymium oxide crashed to their lowest levels since late 2020 last month. However, Jiawen says further downside for rare earths, particularly for neodymium-praseodymium (NdPr) oxide, used in permanent magnets, which fell 38% last year, is limited with prices near the production cost level.



China dethroned as top source of US imports after 17 years, replaced by Mexico: census data​

  • World’s second-largest economy also saw its share of American imports decline to 13.9 per cent in 2023, its lowest level in 20 years
  • Total value of goods shipped from China to US fell by 20.3 per cent last year compared to 2022, as Mexico’s grew by 4.6 per cent
For the first time in 17 years, China was dethroned as the United States’ top source of imports, offering fresh evidence that Washington’s tariffs and supply-chain diversification efforts are bearing fruit.

Mexico outpaced China in 2023 in terms of total value of goods shipped to the US, according to data from the US Census Bureau released on Wednesday.

Total US imports from China last year reached US$427.2 billion, falling by 20.3 per cent compared to 2022, and slightly higher than the US$421.1 billion from Canada in 2023, census data showed.



Weekly iScrap Report: Unpacking Copper's Fluctuations and Nickel's Decline​

📈 Check Scrap Prices: https://iScrapApp.com/ - Dive into this week's iScrap Report for an in-depth analysis of the scrap metal market's current state as we navigate through 2024. We explore the unexpected shifts in copper prices amidst EV market stagnation, nickel's troubling descent impacting stainless steel, and the significant downturn in steel prices. Additionally, we discuss the catalytic converter market's ongoing challenges and the spark of optimism ignited by a new copper mine discovery. Join us as we dissect these trends and offer strategic guidance for navigating the volatile scrap metal landscape. 25 minutes long.

👉 Read more: https://iscrapapp.com/blog/weekly-scr...


Morning Bid: Record S&P500 eyes 5,000, China deflated​

February 8, 2024 6:06 AM EST

A look at the day ahead in U.S. and global markets from Mike Dolan

Infused with another strong earnings season and calmer bond markets, a record high S&P500 (.SPX), opens new tab now looks to vault the 5,000 point hurdle for the first time - just as China's worrying deflation deepens into its Lunar New Year break.

With U.S. economic growth above 3%, unemployment below 4% and aggregate annual profit growth above 8%, the S&P500 has raced up 21% since late October.



New Report Sheds Light on Rapid Expansion of Arctic Shipping​

A new 10-year report by the Arctic Council’s Working Group on the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) highlights a substantial increase in shipping across the Arctic Ocean.

The number of vessels operating in the Arctic increased almost 40 percent between 2013 and 2023, from 1,298 per year to 1,782. Fishing vessels remain the single largest category of ships, followed by general cargo ships and bulk carriers.

“Several reasons contribute to the increase in Arctic shipping,” said Hjalti Hreinsson, Project Manager at PAME in charge of the report. “One of them, and perhaps the most prominent one, is an increase in natural resource extraction. Compared to other marine areas worldwide, there aren’t that many ships in the Arctic, and new projects will strongly impact statistics.”



FX Daily: A tale of two stock markets​

US equity benchmarks continue to push higher as most of the big tech stocks close in on bullish target prices. Chinese equities, however, continue to languish as Chinese authorities institute an array of measures to slow the decline. This divergence can only be helping the dollar. Today we have policy meetings in the Czech Republic and Mexico


Morning Bid: Record Wall St holds, inflation revision eyed​

February 9, 2024

A look at the day ahead in U.S. and global markets from Mike Dolan

Having briefly cracked the 5,000 point milestone for the first time on Thursday, Wall Street's S&P500 (.SPX), opens new tab looks set to hold the line and sustain near 5% gains for the year so far - while a thin Friday diary put bonds and inflation back in the spotlight.

Overnight markets were quietened by the absence of mainland China due to its Lunar New Year holiday - although another near-1% drop in the still-open Hang Seng (.HSI), opens new tab in Hong Kong showed dour investor sentiment in China is hard to dispel.



Parallel universes? 'Magnificent 7' prone to China risks​

February 9, 2024

LONDON, Feb 9 (Reuters) - The jarring contrast of China's market bust and soaring U.S. stocks may cloud the vulnerability of the latter to events in Beijing, and some fear Wall Street's narrow focus heightens that risk.

A relentless plunge of Chinese equities over the past year - on a mix of property sector woes, deflation, piecemeal policy supports and dire demographics - is compounded by capital flight on fears of deepening geopolitical rifts, not least over Taiwan.

The flipside stateside is record high U.S. stock indexes - infused by buoyant domestic growth and employment, interest rate cut hopes and a 'reshoring' of chipmaking and supply chains that may also owe much to that geopolitical reboot.

But for active fund managers who endlessly bemoan the concentration of stellar U.S. index gains in a handful of megacap tech stocks - a 'Magnificent 7' that now accounts for almost 30% the S&P500's market value - the contrasting national fortunes are not necessarily parallel universes.



Walmart and General Mills team up on remarkable project using 600,000 acres of farmland — here’s what they’re planning to do​

General Mills and Walmart have struck a new deal that will provide funds, education, and support for sustainable farming initiatives.

According to a statement, which confirmed the deal also includes Walmart’s warehouse club chain Sam’s Club, the collaboration will “accelerate the adoption of regenerative agriculture” across as many as 600,000 acres of land in the United States before the end of the decade.

Initial projects under the agreement will receive financial support from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, with wheat production among the main areas of focus.

According to the World Economic Forum, regenerative agriculture aims to tackle the issue of degraded agricultural land, which is harmed by machine use, pesticides, and fertilizers and is leading to a reduction in appropriate soil for food production.

Citing Regeneration International, the WEF said regenerative farming relies on plowing the land less to keep carbon dioxide in the soil and improve water absorbency.



People are Going Broke to Look Rich​

Feb 10, 2024
We are seeing garbage loans from car dealerships. People are getting car loans for 84 months where they are paying $2550 a month. Plus, we are seeing ridiculous loans for 96 months and they are as high as $3000 a month



Feb 10, 2024

With how much the cost to eat at fast food restaurants has risen, this could be the end of fast food as we know it. After all, what incentive does someone have to eat fast food if it is now comes at a similar cost as a casual dining experience.


U.S. and China Back Competing Rail Corridors to Zambia's Copper Belt​

The U.S government has given new commitments in the development of the Lobito Corridor, which is proposed as a critical trade route to facilitate movement of green energy resources in the Southern Africa region. At a forum last week in Lusaka convened by the G7’s Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGI), the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) announced new financing support for the corridor, which extends across Angola, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Speaking at the forum, DFC’s Deputy CEO Nisha Biswal revealed that her corporation’s board of directors had approved a new $250 million debt facility to the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC). This funding will support the Lobito Atlantic Railway (LAR) consortium that is upgrading and operating the 1,300km (807 miles) Benguela rail line across Angola with advisory support from the AFC.

With demand for copper and cobalt minerals rising with the growth of green energy, the Copper Belt region straddling Zambia and DRC has gained global recognition. However, major corporations are finding it hard to move the ores with limited transport options out of the Copper Belt. The conventional route to the Indian Ocean port of Durban in South Africa has become unreliable, characterized by perennial truck congestion of more than 30 miles at some border points.



Video: Greek Troops Board Tanker, Arresting Captain on “Abduction” Charges​

A Special Missions Unit of the Greek military boarded a product tanker on Saturday arresting the vessel’s captain and releasing three inspectors who reportedly were aboard the ship against their will. It is the latest in a series of developments for a vessel that ran afoul of regulations in September 2023 being detained in Germany for 83 days with an amazing 42 deficiencies identified.

The Hellenic Coast Guard reports on Saturday, February 10, that the vessel, a 46,000 dwt product tanker identified by the media as the Arina 1 registered in Palau, was ordered to divert from its course into the anchorage at Chios. There, the Special Missions Unit boarded the vessel and in a video released by the Coast Guard with their automatic rifles drawn began searching the ship.



Walmart, Energizer must face lawsuits over battery prices​

NEW YORK, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Walmart (WMT.N), opens new tab and Energizer (ENR.N), opens new tab were ordered by a U.S. judge to face lawsuits by consumers and retailers accusing them of violating antitrust law by conspiring to raise prices of disposable batteries.

In a decision on Friday, U.S. District Judge P. Casey Pitts said plaintiffs in the three proposed class actions plausibly alleged that in exchange for preferred treatment at its stores, Walmart pressured Energizer to inflate wholesale battery prices and keep other retailers from undercutting it on price.


Little bit of this, little bit of that in this one. I don't agree with everything in this, especially his take on moving to Russia.


Feb 13, 2024

Nothing to see, can listen in one tab, play around the forum in a different tab. It's 47 mis long. I listened in segments.

Aristidis Alafouzos - Okeanis Eco Tankers, Shipping Investing, US Listing, Tankers, Crude Oil, Books​

Aristidis Alafouzos is the Chief Executive Officer for Okeanis Eco Tankers, ECO (NYSE) & OET (Oslo). The company has a modern and unique tanker fleet that has out-performed most of their competitors over the last years. Behind the company is the Greek Alafouzos family who has for generations been one of the most impressive industry builders in Greece across several industries, including shipping, capital management, media, newspapers and sports.

00:00 - Listing $ECO In New York
04:20 - Norway's Investing Reputation
06:10 - The Alafouzos Legacy
09:55 - When To Start A Shipping Company?
11:57 - Investment Sentiment In Tankers, Gas And Dry Bulk
16:00 - Okeanis Eco Tankers Lessons
24:15 - Leverage In Shipping
26:15 - Green Fuels, And New Shipping Innovation
29:05 - Klaveness Combination Carriers
31:00 - Market Trends For Tankers
33:00 - The Culture In OET
36:15 - The Year Ahead For OET
38:20 - Quick Fire (Greece Economy, Islands, Books, Advice)

Gold ekes out gains with spotlight on key US inflation data​

  • U.S. CPI due at 1330 GMT
  • Fed hesitant on rate cuts until more confidence on inflation
Feb 13 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Tuesday as caution set in ahead of a U.S. inflation report due later in the day that could offer more clues on the timing of widely expected interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve.

Spot gold was up 0.3% at $2,026.19 per ounce, as of 0952 GMT, after briefly slipping to a more than two-week low of $2,011.72 per ounce on Monday.

U.S. gold futures were up 0.3% at $2,039.70 per ounce.



Morning Bid: Nikkei and Nasdaq stalk records, CPI lurks​

February 13, 2024

A look at the day ahead in U.S. and global markets from Mike Dolan

Frenetic trading activity around artificial intelligence and chipmakers has tech heavy stock indexes from Wall St's Nasdaq to Japan's Nikkei just a stone's throw from all-time highs - even if Tuesday's U.S. inflation update had them back off for now.

With US annual consumer price inflation expected to ebb to a near 3-year low of 2.9% - and below 3% for the first time since March 2021 - rates and bonds markets held steady.

Even though Federal Reserve futures markets now have sights firmly set on May rather than March for the first interest rate cut in the cycle, the central bank will welcome another retreat in CPI even if core rates remain stick.



Japan unexpectedly slips into recession, Germany now world's third-biggest economy​

  • Japan's GDP shrinks for two straight quarters
  • Frail consumption, capital spending point to challenging outlook
  • Supply constraints may be delaying execution of spending plans
  • Some analysts push back bets of an early exit to negative rates
TOKYO, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Japan unexpectedly slipped into a recession at the end of last year, losing its title as the world's third-biggest economy to Germany and raising doubts about when the central bank would begin to exit its decade-long ultra-loose monetary policy.

Some analysts are warning of another contraction in the current quarter as weak demand in China, sluggish consumption and production halts at a unit of Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), opens new tab all point to a challenging path to an economic recovery.



UK economy falls into recession, adding to Sunak's election challenge​

  • UK GDP contracts 0.3% in Q4 2023, sealing recession
  • Economic output stands only 1% higher than pre-COVID level
  • Finance minister Hunt sees signs of brighter times ahead
  • Labour, ahead in polls, says government plan not working
  • GDP per person shrinks, longest run without growth on record
LONDON, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Britain's economy fell into a recession in the second half of 2023, a tough backdrop ahead of this year's expected election for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak who has promised to boost growth.

Gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 0.3% in the three months to December, having shrunk by 0.1% between July and September, official data showed.

The fourth-quarter contraction was deeper than all economists' estimates in a Reuters poll, which had pointed to a 0.1% decline.



Morning Bid: Tech-led U.S. 'exceptionalism' underlined​

February 15, 20246:02 AM EST

A look at the day ahead in U.S. and global markets from Mike Dolan

If you needed an illustration of U.S. economic "exceptionalism", then simply contrast its still-booming economy with this week's news that Japan and Britain entered technical recession late last year while the euro zone flatlined.

At least part of that blistering outperformance against most other G7 economies is related to its stellar technology sector, infused again over the past year by "re-shoring" of chip production and an artificial intelligence boom.



Weekly iScrap Report: Copper's Stability vs. Steel's Decline - Navigating 2024's Challenges​

📈 Check Scrap Prices: https://iScrapApp.com/ - Dive into this week's iScrap App Report for an in-depth analysis of the current scrap metal market. We're examining the steady copper prices amidst the Chinese New Year, the continued downturn in steel prices fueled by rising oil costs, and the significant decline in catalytic converter markets. Plus, we explore the implications of nickel's ongoing low prices on the stainless steel sector. Join us as we provide insights and recommendations for navigating these turbulent market conditions, helping scrap industry professionals make informed decisions during these uncertain times.

👉 Read more: https://iscrapapp.com/blog/weekly-scr...


Renewed efforts are needed to open markets as barriers to services trade remained high in 2023​

12/02/2024 - The supply of services through commercial presence and digital trade faced new barriers in 2023, as global services providers were confronted by fragmented regulatory environments, according to annual analysis from the OECD.

The overall number of services trade liberalisation reforms enacted in 2023 was below the previous year, but the aggregate impact of liberalising policies nonetheless moderately outweighed the introduction of new restrictions.


China-US container leasing rates rise threefold, container demand recovery on the horizon

The global shipping industry experienced a significant surge in rates over the past couple of months, as an aftermath of the Red Sea crisis.

Three months into this crisis, container leasing rates on the China-US trade route have surged dramatically, rising by a staggering 223%, or threefold, compared to pre-incident levels. Additionally, container demand is expected to recover in the coming months as the US economy exhibits signs of resilience.



Ford CEO says company will rethink where it builds vehicles after last year’s autoworkers strike​

DETROIT (AP) — Last fall’s contentious United Auto Workers’ strike changed Ford’s relationship with the union to the point where it will “think carefully” about where it builds future vehicles, Ford’s top executive said Thursday.

CEO Jim Farley told the Wolfe Research Global Auto Conference in New York that the company always took pride in its relationship with the UAW, having avoided strikes since the 1970s.

But last year, Ford’s highly profitable factory in Louisville, Kentucky, was the first truck plant that the UAW shut down with a strike.



Why They Don't Want You Saving and Why Saving is Bad for Debt-Based System.​

Feb 16, 2024


Morning Bid: Global stocks at two-year highs, Nikkei skirts record​

February 16, 2024 6:03 AM EST

A look at the day ahead in U.S. and global markets from Mike Dolan

A confusing mix of red hot stock markets, chilly U.S. economic updates and hawkish Federal Reserve noises make for a foggy end to the week as U.S. producer inflation numbers hove into view.

Major stock indexes at least seem in little doubt about the direction of travel.

Global stocks (.MIWD00000PUS), opens new tab hit 2-year highs as the Nikkei (.N225), opens new tab soared again to within a hair's breadth of the record set at the height of Japan's property bubble in 1990 and Hong Kong's beaten down Hang Seng (.HSI), opens new tab rallied more than 2% ahead of China's post-New Year reopening next week.



Take Five: Two years of war and an AI bull​

February 16, 2024

Feb 16 (Reuters) - It's been two years since Russia invaded Ukraine, bringing war to Europe for the first time in decades, while the markets' AI bull's seemingly unstoppable run continues, and China returns from a week-long holiday to economic uncertainty.

Here's your week ahead primer in world markets from Rae Wee in Singapore, Lewis Krauskopf in New York, and Marc Jones, Dhara Ranasinghe and Naomi Rovnick in London.


Feb. 24 marks two years since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. While markets have long overcome their initial panic, the anniversary is an unwelcome reminder of the war's ongoing and multifaceted toll.

Aside from the human tragedy, the rebuild cost alone is now estimated to have reached almost half a trillion dollars, or 2.8 times Ukraine's annual economic output. Western governments have provided $100 billion - $60 billion in military aid and $40 billion in budgetary help - a year since the invasion.


Top Bottom