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WA Index

Issue 214 | February 2023

Welcome to the 214th edition of the Deloitte WA Index, a monthly review of Western Australian stocks and indices.

The aggregate market capitalisation of Western Australian listed companies rose sharply during the month of January – increasing 8.74% to close at $379.9 billion. This month’s rally comes after a disappointing December for the Index. Global indices have experienced the same trend, with the US S&P 500, FTSE 100, Nikkei 225 and ASX All Ordinaries recovering throughout January.

Download the list of WA’s top 100 listed companies, as of 31 January 2023, explore the sections below, and if you do not currently receive our WA Index, please register to be added to our distribution list.

If you have any questions in relation to the Deloitte WA Index please contact Dave Andrews.

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January saw volatility across the commodity market, with strong positive movement in metals such as tin, zinc and aluminium. Conversely, energy prices, such as LNG and coal fell alongside the rising temperatures in the Northern hemisphere.

Additionally, we have commenced reporting of didymium pricing for the first time in this edition, as a proxy for rare earths pricing trends.

  • Tin rose 19% to US$29,431/T during the January period. China’s move away from their covid-zero policy in December 2022 bolstered metals across the board, as manufacturing and services sectors start to ramp up production. Additionally, long term demand for tin is expected to increase due to the global energy transition into greener, more renewable sources – in particular, solar panels and the EV market.
  • Aluminium increased by 11% to US$2,613/T across January, driven by a forecast of increasing demand, and fear of shortage supplies for the commodity. China’s surprise move away from their covid-zero policy created positive sentiment for metal demand and eased concerns over the fear of global recession. Aluminium supply has decreased from 1.4 million tonnes in early 2022 down to 900,000 tonnes in January.
  • Zinc increased by 14% in January to US$3,419/T. The recovery of China’s economy and demand for zinc from emerging economies such as India led to an increase in zinc prices for January, following the commodity’s gradual decline over the course of 2022.Further fuelling the price rise are falls in metal inventories across the board and a softer US dollar.
  • Copper increased to US$9,200/T, representing an increase of 10% during the month. There was an expected rebound in China’s economy, as the market was optimistic about the news of China easing their Covid-19 restrictions. The decline in the US dollar, which has an inverse correlation with commodity prices has also aided in the increase of copper prices. Additionally, industry speculators are suggesting supply for copper is anticipated to reach a deficit and supply shortage in 2023.
  • Didymium increased to US$110,284/T, a 7% increase on December 2022. Rare earth production is largely dominated by China, who at the backend of 2022 accounted for approximately 84% of global supply. China’s production of didymium oxide fell between December 2022 and January 2023 due to a pause in production at separation plants for maintenance. Due to supply shortages, the price of didymium strengthened, but is forecasted to rebalance as production ramps up over the following months.
  • Thermal coal decreased by 26%, down to US$240/T, largely due warmer winters across the globe leading to lower demand. With China and India being the largest importers of coal, lower demand from these two powerhouses has led to a decrease in the price of thermal coal. This month also reflects the first time thermal coal prices have fallen below coking coal prices for some time.
  • LNG saw the largest decrease for the month as prices fell 36% down to US$19/MMBtu. This was driven by warmer than usual winter temperatures in Asia, and less trading in preparation for Lunar New Year holidays in both China and Korea. Similarly in Europe, temperatures have seen an unseasonably mild trend leading to a decrease in demand and higher gas storage levels compared to 2022. Lower demand and sustainable LNG imports has led to a price decrease in the January period.

Performance of Global Financial Markets over the past 12 months

Western Australian top performers over the past month by growth in market capitalisation

  • Pilbara Minerals Limited (ASX: PLS) saw an increase of 26.7% in market capitalisation in January following the release of the strong results published in the December 2022 quarterly activities report. The report highlighted a 10% increase in spodumene production, a 33% increase in the average realised sales price concentrate and a 62% quarterly increase in the company’s cash balance.
  • Paladin Energy Limited (ASX: PDN) experienced a 21.4% increase in market capitalisation in January. Paladin reported the execution of three uranium offtake agreements, the on-track status of restart activities at the Langer Heinrich mine and an unrestricted cash balance of US$163.2 million.
  • Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX: LYC) closed out the month with a 19.6% increase in its market capitalisation after the release of Q2 results. Lynas reported sales revenue of $232.7M, an increase of 42% on the previous quarter, as well both neodymium and praseodymium production and rare earth oxide production increasing by 44% and 27% respectively.

The top Deloitte WA Index Movers and Shakers in January were:

  • Lindian Resources Limited (ASX: LIN) had an increase of 45.2% after announcing the positive outcome of maiden drilling taking place at the Kangankunde project in Malawi. Assays returned 11.8% total rare earth oxides containing a 21% ratio of neodymium-praseodymium, a critical battery metal element.
  • Westgold Resources Limited (ASX: WGX) saw a market capitalisation increase of 38.9% over the past month after announcing record gold production for the quarter at its Bluebird mine, increasing 22% to 110,606t, in turn, reporting an operating cash flow of $24M-a $3M increase quarter-on-quarter.
  • Resolute Mining Limited (ASX: RSG) experienced a 37.5% increase in market capitalisation in January after announcing a revised estimate of gold at the Syama North project in Mali. The revised estimate incorporated a 58% increase in gold ounces, rising to a total of three million ounces at a cut-off grade of 1g/t Au.

If you don’t currently receive our WA Index, you can register to be added to our distribution list.

If you have any questions in relation to the Deloitte WA Index please contact Dave Andrews.

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