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Shougang is not the only miner down in Peru for which trouble is brewing. Peru’s national federation of mine workers said on Friday (yesterday), it is planning to hold walkouts across the entire sector next week.



“The position of the workers is to go on strike on Monday starting at 9 a.m. (1400 GMT) and leave the mines,” Luis Castillo, the federation’s director, told Reuters.

Reuters reports some unions have agreed to stay on the job, but considering that Peru is the largest producer of silver in the world, #2 of zinc, #3 of copper, #4 of lead, and #6 in gold—such a walk out does have the potential ripple over into global spot prices for the above mentioned metals.

When miners held a similar strike in mid-2008 and the strike helped push copper prices toward a record high—although this was at the peak of bull markets, the market effect is no less noted. The underlying point; markets are watching and investors pay attention to these kinds of things.

Company’s which will be affected include, Volcan (VOL_pb.LM), Newmont (NEM), Freeport-McMoRan’s (FXN), Xstrata’s (XTA.L), Buenaventura (BVN), Southern Copper (PCU) and BHP Billiton (BHP).

Click here to access a more details story on this topic from Reuters.

As always, CSA will keep you up to date with relevant developments as they unfold.

~ Benito

Progress is being made down in Peru between Chinese miner Shougang Hierro and the workers who have been protesting for weeks now against unfair wages and treatment by their Chinese owners. Nothing new… for the record, there are few international companies which invest in the Peruvian mining industry and thereafter roll out the red carpet for their workers. It’s mining, not investment banking…

The 1200 striking workers have begin working again according to manager Julio Ortiz, who said they returned to work because the company said it would commit to some of the workers demands.

Currently workers earn a salary of 1,770 ($614) Peruvian soles a month and the company has released a statement saying Shougang is willing to raise the daily salary by 5.50, or 165 soles a month—bringing the new total to 1935 soles ($677).

According to this Reuters article (in Spanish), Shougang earned a solid 417 million soles last year ($144.7 million dollars), a increase over the year before of 50%.

All in all, it seems Shougang won this battle… CSA will continue to bring you updates on this matter in the weeks to come.

Coca Leaves Being Dryed

Coca Leaves Being Dryed

Bolivia plans to buy six Chinese light military aircraft worth nearly $58 million to fight drug traffickers in the world’s No. 3 cocaine producer, leftist President Evo Morales said on Saturday.

“Last week we issued a supreme decree to … acquire six K-8 aircraft from China,” said Morales in a speech in La Paz to mark the 52nd anniversary of the Bolivian air force.

Morales said his government decided to acquire the K-8, a jet trainer that can be used as a light attack aircraft, after the U.S. government blocked the country from buying similar planes from the Czech Republic.

Click here to read the complete article from Reuters

Newswire: Jim Rogers

“I don’t see any adequate-supply situation in any commodity market over the next decade or two,” Rogers, the chairman of Singapore-based Rogers Holdings, said today in an interview in New York. “The commodities boom is not over and the bull market has several years to go.”

“I own some cotton,” Rogers said. “I own some sugar,” he said. “Sugar will go much, much higher over the course of the bull market.”

“Oil could reach between $150 and $200 a barrel,” because known reserves of crude are declining, Rogers said. He said international relations, particularly between the U.S. and Iran, will help guide prices.

“Natural gas is very cheap,” he said in the interview between sessions at an ETF Securities Ltd. investor conference.

Commodities ‘Best Place’

“Commodities are the best place to be, if you ask me, based on supply and demand,” Rogers said. He said he hasn’t invested in equities outside of China in two years.

“Everything has gone through the roof,” Rogers said of equities prices, adding that he may consider buying stocks “if something collapses.”

Click here to read the complete Bloomberg article


China Nurtures Futures Markets in Bid to Sway Commodity Prices – WSJ

ZHENGZHOU, China — Chinese leaders are concerned that their nation’s enormous economic expansion is becoming an excuse for foreign suppliers to inflate commodity costs. So, they hope to use their three futures exchanges to fight back.

“It is true we have a long-term goal of increasing our influence in terms of pricing, but to do that we have to create conditions and do it step by step,” Jiang Yang, chief futures-industry policy maker and assistant chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said in an interview. “But as the Westerners say: ‘Rome was not built in a day.’

But Beijing believes hosting big futures markets will enhance the country’s economic security by essentially advertising what the world’s biggest customer for some commodities considers a fair price. For the rest of the world, the exchanges could mean less guesswork about China’s buying habits, possibly reducing volatility in the global market.

Silver Lining: Jim Rogers Talks Up Commodities – Time Magazine

Jim Rogers’ daughters may not have been born with silver spoons in their mouths, but they’ve got them now. Not silver spoons, exactly, but silver bullion. “My little girls don’t own stocks — they own commodities,” he says, “and that’s why they’ll be able to take care of me in retirement.”

Rogers sees three big secular trends now, and he’s acting on all of them. First, America’s role as the dominant economic power is declining, so why own American stocks? (He doesn’t.) Second, China is emerging, and even though it may have crises from time to time, it is a good place to invest. (He does.) Third — and this is the biggie — emerging nations including China are greatly increasing the future demand for commodities such as oil. (He’s in with both feet.)

“Thirty years ago, 3 billion people were not even participating in the world economy, and now they are trying to live like we do,” he notes. That emerging megaforce, says Rogers, will put a supertight squeeze on commodity prices across the board, from beef to bullion.

Oil Climbs Above $73, Nat. Gas Rallies as Equities Fly High – Rigzone

Jumping toward $74 a barrel on an American holiday, crude oil rallied more than $1 from last week’s closing price, bolstered by a weaker dollar and a rise in the equities market. Also gaining today, natural gas closed 12 cents below $5 as the energy commodity continues to strengthen despite bearish fundamentals.

After rallying to an intra-day high of $73.84, the price of crude oil settled slightly lower to $73.27 on the NYMEX Monday, a gain of $1.50 from Friday’s close. Additionally, the US dollar eased against a basket of foreign currencies, helping to spur a rally in today’s commodity prices.

China Iron Ore Imports Exceed Real Demand, CISA Says – Bloomberg via Chinamining.org

Iron ore imports by China, the world’s largest buyer, have exceeded real demand by 50 million metric tons this year, the country’s steel association said.

China’s iron ore imports surged to a record this year, hurting the group’s bid to negotiate a contract price cut bigger than the 33 percent offered by Rio Tinto Group and BHP Billiton Ltd. The nation is looking at cutting the number of licensed importers, industry minister Li Yizhong reiterated today.

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa signed a contract today with Chinese company Sinohydro Corportation.  The company will be in charge of building the Coca-Codo-Sinclair hydroelectric project along Ecuador’s Amazon river.

Amazon River [Img: LandReport.com]

The project is valued at $2 billion usd and will become Ecuadors largest hydroelectric facility.  Once completed, the hydroelectric facility will be capable of meeting 75% of the country’s total power supply, reports Xinhua.

According to this Xinhua article, the Export-Import Bank of China will cover 85 percent of the project’s total cost, with the remaining 15 percent covered by the Ecuadorian government.

President Correa said that “the launching of this project would be a historical event as it represents one of the biggest foreign investments in Ecuador and will create about 4,000 direct jobs and 15,000 indirect jobs in Ecuador.”