- Here’s one potential China bubble popper: steel prices. Pricing terms for steel changed literally overnight, after a global consortium of miners and steelmakers agreed to start pricing the commodity quarterly and according to the iron ore spot market. For the last 40 years, steel consumers signed yearly contracts and price was negotiable… no longer.“The new price system will lift the cost of iron ore to Asian steelmakers to about $110-$120 a ton during the April–June period,” the Financial Times forecasts, “up between 80–100% from the $60 level at which the 2009–10 annual contracts were settled.” That’s no joke. We’ll be watching names like BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, which stand to profit handsomely.“Towards the end of this year, uranium prices will start to move higher,” adds Amir Adnani, CEO of Uranium Energy Corp. “We are going to see some hyper activity. Prices will have a similar run-up movement that we witnessed in the summer of 2007.” Of course, he’s talking his book… but to predict another 2007 is quite a forecast: The Obama administration may agree with him, too. In addition to advocating the construction of new nuclear plants, White House officials also announced plans this morning to open most of the U.S. coastline to offshore drilling. Soon the Atlantic, Gulf and Alaskan coastlines will be fair game for deep-sea drillers. As with all things Washington, the bipartite move is political. Obama is willing to support nuclear power and offshore drilling if his opponents give in on “climate change” legislation. Apart from sending our Byron King out on one of the deep-sea drillers in the Gulf, we’ll keep an ear to the ground for the quid pro quo the Obamanians are expecting. Could mean the rebirth of that crowd-pleaser, “cap n’ trade”…
updated Mar 31, 2010
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