Base Metals Price Outlook Economic Forecast

Base Metals Price Outlook

Base metal prices decline for first time in three months in April

May 15, 2019

Base metal prices decreased a mild 0.3% on a monthly basis in April. The reading represented the first drop in three months and contrasted March’s 2.0% decrease.

The decline was mainly led by reduced demand for some key commodities such as lead and tin. Nickel prices also fell in April on increased global supply, while oversupply concerns ate into prices for U.S. steel. Conversely, iron ore prices jumped markedly in the same month on supply crunch fears related to Vale’s dam disaster in Brazil and bad weather in Australia. Meanwhile, cobalt prices recovered some of the ground lost since the start of the year.

Our panel of analysts see base metal prices recovering towards the end of the year to post a mild 0.2% year-on-year gain in Q4 2019 (previous report: +0.7% year-on-year). Developments over the health of China’s economy will dictate the evolution of base metal prices further down the road as the Asian giant consumes around 50% of all base metals. Met the why particular panelists expect base metal prices to increase 2.7% year-on-year in Q4 2020.

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Base Metals Historical Price Data

2013  2014  2015  2016  2017  
Aluminium1845.86  1867.48  1663.69  1604.6  1968.4  
Alumina116.26  411.9  377.2  311.14  348.34292307692  
Copper7330.44  6863.26  5508.57  4871.3  6171.78  
Nickel15022.53  16897.92  11835.3  9596.5  11414.13  
Lead2139.23  2095  1787.3  1866.99  2313.17  
Zinc1911.09  2162.01  1929.03  2092.83  2890.89  
Tin22272.66  21878.75  16053.44  17960.96  20068.1  
Iron Ore136.58  97.34  55.82  58.61  71.77  
Steel (USA)630.41  653.14  461.14  519.95  619.92  
Steel (Europe)616.31417624521  573.91951122989  422.11344827586  455.12260536398  601.75  

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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