COPPER - HIGH GRADE - Copper futures.
The quotations of this industrial metal are monitored daily by millions of investors and hedgers. Copper was the first metal that man learned to process and use for his needs. Products found in archeological excavations from copper date from the tenth millennium BC.
The main application of this golden pink metal is due to its high electrical conductivity: most of the copper produced is used in electrical engineering for the manufacture of wires, cables, conductive parts of various equipment. It is an indispensable material for various heat exchangers and refrigeration equipment.
World copper production is about 16 million tons per year. The unconditional leader in production is Chile (5.600 million tons per year), followed by the United States (1.310 million), Peru (1.220 million) and China (1,000 million). Russia produces 0.750 million tons per year, mainly by Norilsk Nickel, Uralelektromed and Russian Copper Company. The world's explored reserves amount to about 1 billion tons, of which only half is economically feasible for extraction. Investments in this metal can take many forms: ancient coins, jewelry, copper futures, specialized funds and shares in mining and processing companies.
Copper prices are strongly affected by the discovery of new mines and intensive development of existing ones. Most of the copper mined falls on the market from the countries of South and North America. The largest exporters are Chile, Indonesia, Canada and Australia; the largest importers - China, Japan and the EU countries. Over the past decade, the demand for copper has smoothly shifted from Europe to Asia.
GOLD - Futures on gold.
Futures contracts for gold (Gold Futures) are traded in New York, for quotes and charts of popular metal, millions of traders watch daily. In addition to all the known advantages, it is an excellent industrial material - perfectly conducts electricity, extremely resistant to corrosion. But mainly it is used in the production of jewelry jewelry and coinage. Its exceptional feature is the fact that gold is de facto used in the formation of the insurance and reserve fund of all major states. The total reserves of this metal in the main securities and the IMF exceed 30 thousand tons.
The world volume of gold extracted is now equivalent to 150 thousand tons. Of these, 20% are in state funds, 55% are in jewelry from the public, 12% are used in industry, about 16% are investments. In general, investments in this metal can take various forms: futures for gold, gold bars, ancient and rare coins, funds and shares of mining and processing, as well as specialized jewelry companies. At the end of winter 2008 we witnessed a historic moment - the price of an ounce exceeded the $ 1000 mark. But she stayed there for less than one week, bouncing off a new record high of $ 1006.43.
The main suppliers of gold are: South Africa, the United States, Australia, China and Russia. The main consumers: Japan, Germany, the USA (technological needs) and Italy, India, China, Egypt, UAE (jewelry production). In the US, most precious metal is produced in the states of Nevada, Alaska and California. The price of gold usually grows during crisis times, which we can observe at the moment. The collapse of the stock markets, wars and terrorism make free capital seek a quiet refuge, which in troubled times are precious metals. Based on historical data, the growth of inflation was also usually accompanied by a rise in gold prices. The reverse dependence of the price of bullions and the dollar's rate is traced: with a decrease in confidence in this currency, confidence in gold is growing, and vice versa (historically, the world's gold price is denominated in dollars). Often a strong influence on the price of yellow metal has purely speculative factors.
PALLADIUM - Palladium futures contract.
The contract has two designations for trading on the stock exchange. The initial margin for the opening of the first contract is 4000 $. The maintenance margin is $ 2000 ..
PLATINUM - Platinum futures.
The popularity of these futures contracts is growing year by year, as evidenced by the charts of the volume of trades and open interest. Platinum futures is a good risk management tool for commercial use and an excellent investment target for private investors and funds. Before the actual delivery, which involves the transfer of 50 ounces of platinum at least 99.95% of the sample in the form of numbered ingots or plates, less than 3% of the contracts are in circulation. The vast majority of traders close positions early, fixing profits or losses. In July, the average daily turnover on the New York Stock Exchange amounted to 3.4 thousand contracts, and open interest exceeded 30.5 thousand contracts.
Platinum is a very important metal in terms of both industrial and individual needs. This is the main and most actively used metal from the so-called "platinum group", which also includes palladium, ruthenium, rhodium, osmium and iridium. Platinum (Platinum, from the Spanish platina, "small silver") is valued for its natural properties - it is a strong catalyst, perfectly conducts current and practically does not oxidize. Due to these properties, it is widely used in the automotive, chemical and petroleum industries, pharmaceuticals and electronics.
This soft metal is extremely rare, its reserves in the earth's crust are rather scarce - for the year only 6 million ounces of platinum are mined. Compare this volume with the extraction of silver, which annually exceeds 550 million ounces. Almost all of the world's platinum reserves (80%) are concentrated in South Africa, Russia and Canada each fall only 10%. Explored world reserves of platinum - 2600 million troy ounces. The leader in platinum mining in Russia is the mining and metallurgical company Norilsk Nickel. By the way, the Kremlin's Diamond Fund holds the world's largest platinum nugget - the "Ural giant" - it weighs 7.86 kg.
More than half of the platinum mined (51%) goes to the jewelry industry, satisfying the private demand for jewelry from this noble metal. The last peep of fashion is engagement rings made of platinum. Another 29% are used in the production of automobile catalysts, 13% in refining petroleum products and chemistry. In addition, 7% of the extracted platinum goes to high-tech production, including personal computers and consumer electronics. The price per gram of platinum is now about $ 51, and so far it continues to grow steadily.
SILVER - Silver Futures.
Since 1792, silver played a key role in the US economy, when Congress attached the country's currency to precious metals, and the value of the "silver dollar" became fixed in relation to gold. The government made coins from silver until 1965. Since then, his role in industry has been increasing.
Today, silver is not only a tool for financial investment, but also a widely used material in many industries. The main consumers of silver are now photographers, jewelers and electronics manufacturers. The main silver producers in the world are Mexico, the USA, Peru, Canada and Russia. A major role in production is also played by processing silver-containing items - photo-films, jewelry and old coins.
The price of silver depends heavily on the state of the world economy and the economies of large consumer countries. Growing trends in GDP usually push silver to growth, as does rising inflation. Inflationary outbursts strongly affect the price of "white metal".