Base Metals Price Outlook Economic Forecast

Base Metals Price Outlook

Base metal prices rise for the second consecutive month in March

Base metal prices increased for the second consecutive month in March, rising 2.0% on a monthly basis. This followed February’s 3.7% increase.

Data suggesting that China is weathering persistent economic headwinds relatively well, news that the trade spat between China and the United States could be coming to an end and the Chinese government’s initiatives to shore up economic growth are leading the recovery in base metal prices. On the downside, iron ore prices experienced a correction in recent weeks following the massive surge in February when a dam at one of Vale’s iron ore mines in Brazil collapsed. That said, news that the Brazilian company failed to obtain safety certificates for some of its dams and weather-related disruptions in Australia sent iron ore prices up again at the end of March. Despite healthy demand for the metal, cobalt prices continued to decline due to a rapid build-up in new mining capacity.

Our panel of analysts see base metal prices recovering further towards the end of the year and increasing 0.7% year-on-year in Q4 2019, amid signs that China could avert a sharp slowdown. Met the why particular panelists expect base metal prices to increase 3.1% year-on-year in Q4 2020.

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Base Metals Historical Price Data

2012  2013  2014  2015  2016  
Aluminium2020.88  1845.86  1867.48  1663.69  1604.6  
Alumina472  116.26  411.9  377.2  311.14  
Copper7954.23  7330.44  6863.26  5508.57  4871.3  
Nickel17522.38  15022.53  16897.92  11835.3  9596.5  
Lead2062.45  2139.23  2095  1787.3  1866.99  
Zinc1948.16  1911.09  2162.01  1929.03  2092.83  
Tin21199.76  22272.66  21878.75  16053.44  17960.96  
Iron Ore131.83  136.58  97.34  55.82  58.61  
Steel (USA)656.57  630.49  657.79  462.25  517.96  
Steel (Europe)659.47  614.28  568.37  420.18  439.66  

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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