Base Metals Price Outlook Economic Forecast

Base Metals Price Outlook

Base metal prices decline at fastest pace in 11 months in May on concerns over the Chinese economy

June 11, 2019

Base metal prices declined 4.8% on a monthly basis in May. The reading represented the largest drop in 11 months and followed April’s 0.3% decrease.

China’s weak economic data for April, concerns about the health of China’s financial sector and, especially, rising trade tensions with the United States led analysts to adopt a more cautious approach to China’s growth trajectory. A slowdown in China implies a sharp reduction in demand for almost all base metals. On the upside, iron ore prices jumped in May on supply constraints, while cobalt prices continued to recover from the substantial drop observed in Q1.

Recent developments affecting the world’s global growth engine, China, which consumes around half of all base metals, continue to affect base metal prices. Our panel of analysts see base metal prices falling 0.4% year-on-year in Q4 2019 (previously reported: -0.2% year-on-year). Met the why particular panelists expect base metal prices to increase 3.2% 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  

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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