Base Metals Price Outlook Economic Forecast

Base Metals Price Outlook

Base metal prices increase in August

Base metal prices rose 3.2% month on month in August, contrasting July’s whopping 12.8% contraction—which had marked the largest drop in prices since the height of the global financial crisis in December 2008.

Prices for base metals rose for the first time since March in August, with seven out of 12 commodities tracked by our panel of analysts posting month-on-month increases. That said, prices remained well below their early-2022 highs as the demand outlook has darkened considerably so far this year. In August, zinc prices led the upturn, supported by a tight supply backdrop globally. Similarly, prices for copper, lead and nickel rose mid-way through Q3, on the back of a weaker U.S. dollar and more muted supply conditions. In contrast, prices for iron ore, tin, U.S. steel, cobalt and molybdenum continued to decline over the past month amid worsening demand prospects. The flagging global economy has increasingly weighed on base metal prices in recent months. PMI data showed that factory activity in China, the top consumer of metals, contracted in August. Meanwhile, output in the U.S. expanded at the weakest pace in over two years, which boded poorly for industrial demand.

Base Metals Historical Price Data

2015  2016  2017  2018  2019  
Aluminium1663.69  1604.6  1968.4  2107.64  1794.37  
Alumina377.2  310.14  348.34292307692  472.02134615385  333.93521072797  
Copper5508.57  4871.3  6171.78  6527.31  6008.57  
Nickel11835.3  9596.5  10414.13  13110.42  13917.88  
Lead1787.3  1866.99  2313.17  2239.45  1996.65  
Zinc1929.03  2092.83  2890.89  2920.33  2548.76  
Tin16053.44  17960.96  20068.1  20134.02  18633.23  
Iron Ore55.82  58.61  71.77  69.67  93.88  
Steel (USA)461.14  519.95  619.92  828.46  603.52  
Steel (Europe)422.10344827586  455.12260536398  601.75  649.11877394636  530.27969348659  
Molybdenum17019.775568244  14131.704843581  17659.119469124  26381.87  25693.62  
Cobalt28440.24  25490.73  55850.9  72920.08  33296.91  

Note:
Aluminium prices in USD per metric ton (mt).
Alumina prices in USD per metric ton (mt).
Copper prices in USD per metric ton (mt).
Nickel prices in USD per metric ton (mt).
Lead prices in USD per metric ton (mt).
Zinc prices in USD per metric ton (mt).
Tin prices in USD per metric ton (mt).
Iron ore prices in USD per metric ton (mt).
Steel (USA) prices in USD per metric ton (mt).
Steel (Europe) prices in USD per metric ton (mt).
All prices are average of period (aop).

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