Editorial: Top stories of 2015 – by John Cumming (Northern Miner – December 23, 2015)

http://www.northernminer.com/

Phew, was 2015 a tough year for miners! As we look back and tie a bow around the fourth year of the downturn in commodity prices and the mining sector, we see an industry in defensive mode, spending more time and energy reacting to harsh, global economic forces than charting their own paths forward.

In July, we saw the end of the Commodity Supercyle, as commodity prices represented by the Bloomberg Commodity Index returned to levels last seen in 2002 — or right back to where they were at the start of the much-beloved Supercycle that peaked in 2011.

(To be fair, most other industries have limped along in recession or low-growth mode since the onset of the global recession in 2008, while the mining industry gained some respite with that freaky boom in 2010–11, fuelled by a still-voracious Chinese demand for raw commodities.)

Throughout 2015, economic forecasters returned again and again to the importance of the unexpectedly slower growth in the Chinese economy, which has translated into falling commodity demand and lower commodity prices, pretty much across the board.

The depreciation of the Chinese renminbi and the Shanghai stock market crash in June took special prominence in the news.

Collapse in oil prices — Add record production to anemic demand, and in the oil sector we got oil prices crashing to 11-year lows of US$37 per barrel in December 2015, down from the long-held US$100 level last seen in mid-2014.

For the rest of this editorial, click here: http://www.northernminer.com/news/editorial-top-stories-of-2015/1003740894/

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