Winter is coming - and it's a good thing

WHEN China brought in winter restrictions to smelters and refiners last year, metals prices went down. This year, they could be a good thing.

Winter is coming - and it's a good thing Winter is coming - and it's a good thing Winter is coming - and it's a good thing Winter is coming - and it's a good thing Winter is coming - and it's a good thing

Blue sky in China's cities is becoming more common since the winter cuts came in, and they might help miners too this year. PICTURE: Roderick Eime

Shanghai Metals Market analyst Ian Roper told the London Metals Exchange seminar in London the upcoming winter shutdowns would hit supply more than demand for iron ore and aluminium.

He forecast a 46% cut to steel capacity over winter, compared to 24% last year, and a 23% cut to domestic iron ore mining, compared to 18% in 2017.

Roper said the hit to aluminium capacity would be only slightly higher than last year, at 31.9%.

His take was the demand-side regulations would be less severe because of concerns over China's general economic health.

"We lost a lot of demand [last year] … we had a blanket ban on construction, we had a very tight regulations around things like trucking, so people couldn't move things around," he said.

"So we exite...