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The Alchemist

Buoyant commodity prices not enough to keep AUD afloat

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The Alchemist, Issue 35: Resilience in commodity prices has not been enough to prevent the Aussie dollar from being one of the worst-performing developed economy currencies of 2018. The Aussie dollar closed out in January 2019 at US$0.715, $0.137 below the price predicted by RFC Ambrian’s commodity price-based exchange rate model. The ongoing deviation between commodity prices and the AUD/USD…

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Graphite — Coming to the Party or a Massive Flake?

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The Alchemist, Issue 33: Graphite has been threatening to take off since 2014, when Tesla Motors announced plans to build a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery gigafactory (despite their name, Li-ion batteries require significantly more graphite than lithium to produce). Since the announcement, graphite prices have fallen, with demand not increasing to the high levels that were forecast, and a number of…

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The Australian Dollar – Overpriced?

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The Alchemist, Issue 32: Brief – Currency Update Introduction The Australian dollar is near its two-year high at US$0.797/A$ Recent strength in the Aussie dollar’s value has widely been attributed to Australian macroeconomic and global factors: The Australian unemployment figure of 5.6% in June is near its lowest point in 3.5 years The Prime Minister, among others, has suggested that…

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Cobalt — An Intense Blue Flash in the Pan?

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The Alchemist, Issue 31: Cobalt has had a meteoric rise in 2017. In this issue of The Alchemist, we delve into the cobalt market and try to piece together the demand story for the metal in order to try and understand what is driving demand and whether existing or likely supply could match it. Our investigations have led us to…

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Zinc – An Attractive Investment Destination

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The Alchemist, Issue 29: The Alchemist looks at how zinc should benefit from rising commodity prices, production cuts, minimal new mine development and growth in demand. There is only limited opportunity for equity exposure. The zinc market ended 2016 in deficit, with its spot price having risen 61% over the course of the year; this represented a dramatic turnaround for…

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Neodymium (Nd) & Praseodymium (Pr) Primer

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The Alchemist, Issue 28: This issue of The Alchemist examines the outlook for two rare earth elements with applications in modern energy technologies that are forecast to experience improved demand over the coming years. Neodymium and Praseodymium, collectively known as NdPr, are metallic elements that belong to the lanthanide group of the periodic table. Long-term success for NdPr is linked…

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Copper Price Outlook

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The Alchemist – Issue 27: Any Sign of a Copper Bottom Given the performance of metals prices since their peak five years ago, where we are in the commodity price cycle and when an upturn should be expected are amongst the key questions for the industry. Less discussed is exactly what this price cycle is; although future prices will be…

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Exchange Rate Monitor

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The Alchemist Issue 26 – A number of compelling pieces of analysis are emerging debating where Chinese and US market developments will leave the Australian economy. With plenty of highly technical analysis becoming available, The Alchemist considers it timely to revisit the simple commodity price vs. A$ model and see what insight it can provide on the current markets and the implications for…

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