The price of the front-month contract on Brent (ICE) fell back below 100 days average on Monday and again briefly touched a support at 107.75 USD/bbl. Much weaker than expected China’s export data for February weighed on sentiment and overshadowed ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine as well as yet another skirmish between Libya’s army and rebel forces.
According to Libya’s officials, the country’s navy on Monday stopped oil tanker that had been loaded at Es Sider port controlled by anti-government forces. The event thus reminded that the political and safety situation in Libya is far from perfect and that oil supply from the country might be subject to disruptions in the months to come.
Base metals prices mostly fell on Monday. The only exception was nickel that has been supported by Indonesia’s mineral export taxes as well as by worries about possible impact of tensions in Ukraine on production and exports from Russia (which is the major producer of both ore and refined metal). On the other hand, copper extended Friday’s loss and fell by nearly 2% yesterday. Copper has been under pressure due to worries about China’s demand that have been further exacerbated by bankruptcy of (192 PLN, 0,00%) Holdings, a solar-panels producer.
Today in early trading, the copper price has been hovering at a support at 6682 USD/t and more or less has ignored news that the production at one of the world’s largest copper mines – Indonesia’s Grasberg – fell to less than a half of the capacity due to disputes about the export tax.