Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of MRW, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

World news round-up 30 July 2014

Miners return; Copper surplus; Costa Concordia reaches port; US scrap flat; Camel rescued from scrapyard

Striking miners head back

The indefinite strike in the metals and engineering sector in South Africa has been called off, the general secretary of the Numsa union Irvin Jim has announced. Workers are expected to return to their duties on 31 July.

One of the main features of the settlement package, is a 10% wage increase every year for the lowest paid workers over the next three years. More than 200,000 Numsa members embarked on an indefinite strike on 1 July, initially demanding doub wage increases of 15%. It later lowered the demand to 12% and then to 10%.

The Citizen

Copper surplus expected

Goldman Sachs says the global copper market is likely to have a surplus of around 350,000 to 500,000 tonnes over 2014-15. Copper prices are also likely to fall to $6,200/tonne (£3,660) over the next 12 month, despite expectations of strong demand growth from non-Chinese markets and the anticipated capacity cuts at copper smelters around the world. Copper prices are expected to fall to $6,600/tonne over the next three months. The prices may further fall to $6,400/tonnes on a six-month horizon.

The bank anticipates in its latest research note on commodities that the Chinese real estate market would remain bearish in 2014 and 2015. The underperformance of the property market may keep the copper prices under pressure. Secondly, the Chinese copper financing deals have shifted large volumes of physical copper from markets on to bonded warehouses. It may require at least six to 12 months for the situation to ease.

Shanghai Metals Market

Costa Concordia in port for scrapping

Work is about to start cutting up the Costa Concordia now that the wrecked liner has reached Genoa where it was built nine years ago. It had taken four days to tow the ship from the island of Giglio after a two-year salvage operation. The final voyage has cost its owners over €1.5bn (£1.2bn).

Steel from the 115,000 tonne vessel will be transformed into girders for the construction industry. It’s expected the scrap metal from its 14 decks will fetch around €270/tonne in an operation costing an estimated €100m and led by a consortium of two Italian firms. Around 80% of the liner will be recycled and reused. Copper from the ships hundreds of kilometres of electrical wiring will be salvaged. Machinery from its elevators and equipment from its kitchens will also be cannibalised and reused.


US scrap prices flat

United States shredded scrap prices have remained flat week-on-week at $379 a long ton (delivered mill) in the latest figures from The Steel Index. US Midwest shredded index remained flat against a backdrop of little mid-month trade. 

Initial talk for August is of a market seemingly well balanced in terms of supply and demand fundamentals.  The summer months have brought increased scrap flows into yards, whilst mill activity has picked up and will likely be able to consume the extra material collected.

Shanghai Metals Market

Camel rescued from scrap yard

Bubba the camel has become a burgeoning cult figure complete with her own Facebook fan page after being rescued from a scrapyard in Australia.  Owner Becc Tedder welcomed Bubba to her home near Melbourne following a community-wide fundraising campaign to find her a safer place to live. Tedder raised more than $700 to rescue the camel through fundraising, after ­hearing that she was being kept in a dangerous yard covered in car bodies and scrap.

“As far as I’m concerned she belongs to everyone,” Tedder said. “She’s a lovely little camel, and she’s definitely a character.”

For more information on Bubba, visit


Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.