Improving economic outlooks continued to drive the global economy and commodities markets in the March quarter. In anticipation of rising demand as economies rebound in the coming quarters, copper and nickel prices surged through February. A strengthening U.S. dollar and EU recovery concerns in March, however, tempered copper prices, while the nickel market reacted negatively to a battery-grade supply announcement from Tsingshan Holding Group. Conversely, gold prices slipped from early-January highs to dip briefly below $1,700 per ounce in early March, reflecting the improved economic outlook; fears of inflation later in the month have since steadied the gold price. As a whole, the aggregate market value of the mining sector rose modestly from end-2020, ending the March quarter at almost $2.05 trillion, the highest quarter-end since the June 2011 quarter.
Exploration activity has continued to rise this year, spurred by the $12 billion raised by junior and intermediate companies in 2020 and record levels of financing activity through the March quarter 2021. Propelled by these financing levels and commensurate drilling activity, S&P Global Market Intelligence's measure of exploration activity hit a more-than-decade high in the quarter, with little sign that the exploration sector will cool in the near term.
Join us to recap the March quarter and to obtain our views for the coming year and beyond.
- 2021 March quarter review
- Commodity price trends, drivers and estimates
- Drilling activity, exploration metrics and budgets
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Quarterly financing activity