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Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Gold (and copper) makes the ugly beautiful

Drilling update

Anyone else bored of all the interest rates talk?

Yeah, it is a bit, isn't it...

Haven't done so for quite a while, so let's take a 60-second look at commodities and whether things are likely to pick up for the resources states.

The commodities index was up by a nifty 12.6 per cent over the year to May, and 18.3 per cent in Aussie dollar terms, largely thanks to iron ore, LNG, and some meat prices. 

If you used spot prices instead of a monthly average then the result would be better again.

This becoming a big move to the upside for Australia's key commodities, then, and although access to credit has been stymied, mineral exploration spend increased again by about 13 per cent over the year to Q1 2019, and metres drilled have also lifted. 

The rate of improvement has slowed a little, to be fair, in the lead up to a complicating election. 

This is a strong leading indicator, so where will the beneficiaries be?

To date, this has not really been a coal thing, sadly for Queenslanders.

It's been more of a copper/gold deposit and iron ore driven phenomenon, as well as there being a very decent lift for base metals exploration. 

Therefore the main beneficiary by far will be Western Australia.

There has also been a quite but very solid lift in activity in South Australia, a state which is rich in copper deposits, with gold and silver credits.

Victoria has seen a lift too, though it may not be big enough to move the dial in Victoria, being a state with a larger and more diversified economy.

Things look messy on almost metrics for the Northern Territory, and there is no respite here either.

To date there has been little benefit for Queensland in terms of metres drilled.

If the Adani project gets underway, of course, then all that will change. 


Retail trade figures for April are expected to be soft today, with modest growth after volumes were negative in Q1.

And then the RBA's Governor Lowe is holding a bit of a media bash this afternoon, which will attract all the headlines.