Cold pushing up metals and coal prices

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Cold pushing up metals and coal prices

Sub-zero temperatures accompanied by heavy snow across Europe and Asia are destroying manufacturing industry and mine production, says Fairfax analyst John Meyer.

Transportation disruption may cause some inventory destocking, adds Meyer.

He expects closing of the mines and some metal producers as snow makes mines unsafe.

‘Most mines and plants will try to continue through the snow but metal properties can change at such low temperatures and some plant will cease to function, although most underground mines should run so long as surface plant continues to operate.

Metals prices are rising on the disruption even though the overall economic impact has yet to be evaluated.’

Harsh winter conditions have also helped push up thermal coal prices.

‘China in particular is struggling with cold weather conditions, with news reports indicating that a cold front will be moving south to the provinces of Zhejiang, Jianxi and Hunan. Beijing is suffering cold temperatures not seen since 1971.