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It was a rollercoaster ride for industrial metals prices in the June quarter. Copper and iron ore reached record highs in May, with demand and market sentiment buoyed by the global economic recovery, before pulling back in June driven by a stronger U.S. dollar and concerns that the Chinese government would implement further measures to curb rising commodity prices. Nickel cash prices surged to a three-month high in June, boosted by a strike at Vale’s Sudbury operation in Canada and news from major primary nickel producers Indonesia and Russia that revived supply concerns. Gold prices rallied back above $1,900 per ounce in the quarter, before falling sharply in June on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s hawkish tone fueling the prospect of higher interest rates by the end of 2023.
Equity market support for mining companies continued throughout much of the June quarter, ending the period up 6.6% at almost $2.18 trillion, marked by intra-quarter highs in May. Exploration activity likewise remained strong across the three months, sustained by equity market support for explorers who have been able to maintain high levels of drilling program activity. As a result, our Pipeline Activity Index recorded its second highest-quarterly value on record — a trend we expect to continue into the second half of the year.
Join us to recap the June quarter and obtain our views for H2-21 and beyond.
2021 June quarter review
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