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A two-tier global mining market?
Home » News & Events » Industry News

A two-tier global mining market?

Mining stocks have been battered for a fortnight, but Chinese mining stocks have powered on and up, and now comprise nearly a quarter of the world's top 100 miners, by value.

Since 3 June 2009, intra-day aberrations aside, overall prices for global mining stocks have sustained an overall downward battering, but in the detail, Chinese miners have continued to power upwards.  Dollar metal prices have been having a tough time of it over the past fortnight, indicating that it could be that different sets of sentiment, and perhaps even fundamentals, apply to economic enterprises in China, the epicenter of global economic growth, and the rest of the world. 

It may be that the significant power drives demonstrated by the prices of dozens of Chinese mining stocks have taken back seat, on "front pages", to the 5 June announcementby transnational mining group Rio Tinto that it was abandoning a near-USD 20bn deal with smaller rival Chinalco, opting instead for a rights issue to raise the equivalent of USD 15.2bn, and agreeinga USD 116bn joint venture with BHP Billiton over the two companies' West Australian iron ore assets. 

In the background, raw materials suppliers of kinds, not least those in China, such as State-owned Chinalco, continued to benefit from the country's USD 585bn stimulus package. Not only do Chinese mining companies now occupy nearly a quarter of the positions among the world's top 100 miners, by value, but favoured individual mining stocks often specialise in areas where counterparts outside of China continue to bleed. 

At the same time, it may be noted that general sentiment in overall Chinese stock markets currently carries the status of buoyant; the broad-based CSI 300 traded today at 12-month highs, and the Shanghai Composite nearly so. These performances have few rivals in the world, with the India Nifty ranking as the closest, trading within 10% of highs. 

SELECTED INDICES, SPOTS AND GROUPS

 

 

 

From

From

 

Points

high*

low*

MSCI world equities USD

952.44

-35.2%

39.2%

MSCI emerging markets USD

749.02

-34.8%

68.0%

Dow Jones Industrial

8497.18

-30.1%

31.3%

S+P 500

910.71

-32.5%

36.6%

DJ Stoxx 600

203.84

-33.3%

31.2%

CSI 300

3057.43

-0.1%

90.3%

Shanghai Composite

2853.90

-3.3%

71.4%

Micex Russia

1004.53

-46.4%

103.5%

India Nifty

4251.40

-9.4%

88.7%

Reuters/Jefferies CRB

256.82

-45.8%

28.3%

Dow Jones AIG Commodity

126.46

-47.0%

24.6%

Baltic Dry Shipping

4026.00

-58.1%

507.2%

Baltic Capesize Shipping

7825.00

-44.7%

842.8%

Dollar Index Spot

80.42

-10.3%

12.8%

Gold spot USD/oz

937.14

-6.9%

37.3%

KBW banks

35.52

-57.4%

100.1%

The termination of the mooted deal between Rio Tinto and Chinalco has generated any amount of highly charged comment, but few seem to have stopped to consider how well Chinese mining firms are doing - from China. Thus while Chinese coal miners Gansu Jingyuan, SDIC Xinji, Anhui Hengyuan, and Shanxi Xishan (with a combined market value of USD 15bn) currently trade at prices within 10% of 12-month highs, the US's Peabody Energy, a leading Western coal digger, is trading 65% below its highs. Consol Energy is 69% down; Arch Coal 79% down, as is Massey Energy. 

Similarly, while an aluminium specialist such as Century Aluminium trades 90% below its highs, and Alcoa, one of the biggest names in the global game, at 74% below highs, China Zhongwang (a relatively new listing, and one of the world's biggest IPOs to date, in 2009), Yunnan Aluminium, and Shanxi Guanlu are trading within 10% of 12-month price highs. 

TOP RUNNER CHINESE MINING STOCKS

 

 

 

Stock

From

From

Value

 

price

high*

low*

USD bn

China Zhongwang

HKD 9.10

-2.2%

39.8%

6.348

Zhongjin

CNY 52.02

-2.2%

401.9%

6.017

Gansu Jingyuan

CNY 16.95

-3.6%

324.8%

0.441

SDIC Xinji

CNY 16.12

-5.0%

253.5%

4.364

Tibet Minerals

CNY 23.43

-5.7%

346.3%

0.945

Yunnan Aluminium

CNY 9.20

-5.8%

142.1%

1.418

Anhui Hengyuan

CNY 25.35

-6.1%

280.7%

0.848

Shanxi Xishan

CNY 27.48

-7.0%

293.7%

9.746

Shenzhen Zhongjin

CNY 20.80

-7.7%

243.2%

3.116

Shanxi Guanlu

CNY 8.39

-7.8%

193.4%

0.802

Pingdingshan Tianan

CNY 37.65

-8.1%

276.5%

5.920

Jien Nickel

CNY 21.47

-8.4%

360.0%

2.398

Shanghai Datun

CNY 17.93

-9.0%

127.5%

1.896

Shandong Gold

CNY 53.91

-9.0%

308.4%

5.612

Sundiro

CNY 6.11

-9.3%

144.4%

0.658

Tongling

CNY 19.44

-9.6%

256.0%

3.681

NFC

CNY 15.82

-9.6%

236.6%

1.344

Huolinhe

CNY 26.43

-10.0%

390.8%

4.275

PingZhuang

CNY 13.36

-10.0%

251.6%

1.983

Guizhou Panjiang

CNY 26.09

-10.0%

218.2%

4.212

Xinjiang Xinxin

CNY 4.46

-10.3%

355.1%

0.437

Jiangxi Copper

CNY 30.93

-10.4%

274.0%

7.400

Western Mining

CNY 14.90

-10.4%

181.1%

5.195

Yunnan Copper

CNY 21.29

-10.5%

212.6%

3.914

Jinduicheng

CNY 14.56

-10.9%

129.3%

6.873

* 12-month

 

 

 

 

Chinese copper stocks such as Jiangxi Copper, Yunnan Copper, Tongling, and NFC are similarly overshadowing the price performance of western counterparts. Jien Nickel's stock price is performing brilliantly, while the price for Russia's Norilsk, global leader in nickel, languishes 66% below its dollar highs. Jinduicheng, a molybdenum specialist, is doing brilliantly, while the pricing for Thompson Creek remains weak, and, for Nevada-focused General Moly, depressed and dark. 

Ferrochrome specialist Tibet Minerals is trading within fractions of its 12-month highs, while substantial ferrochrome capacity remains offline in South Africa, the world's leading producer, leading to International Ferro trading at 77% below its highs in London, Merafe trading also 77% below its highs, in Johannesburg, and depressed pricing also for Ferbasa in Brazil and Chromex in London. And so on.

While the relative pricing of listed gold stocks remains among the leaders in global mining subsectors, Chinese gold stocks are in lesser demand than other domestic subsectors, although excellent price performances have been put in by the likes of Zhongjin and Shandong Gold. China's No 1 listed gold digger, Zijin, currently ranks as the world's fourth most valuable in the subsector, after Barrick, Goldcorp and Newmont. While it poses no daunting task to illustrate how Petrochina (market value: USD 333bn) is overvalued relative to Exxon Mobil (USD 349bn), the practical point is that when buying of listed Chinese stocks gains and holds momentum, as now appears to be the case, the global valuation of mining stocks progresses to a two-tier system. 

 

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