Base Metals Price Outlook Economic Forecast

Base Metals Price Outlook

China continues to lead developments in the market for base metals 

Prices for base metals increased a mild 0.3% over the previous month in November, recording the sixth consecutive monthly increase. China’s decision to curb steel output from November 2017 to March 2018 to reduce pollution has increased the price for steel and the cost of input materials such as copper, iron ore and nickel. Increasing expectations of strong demand for electric batteries sent nickel prices to levels last seen over two years ago at the start of November. The commodity, however, failed to consolidate these gains and slid in the following weeks amid reduced demand from alloy makers and weak economic data from China for October. Likewise, other base metals such as zinc felt the pinch of the soft data in China and rising inventories.

The high trend for base metal prices is set to come to an end in 2018 following two years of sizeable gains on the back of stronger-than-expected demand in China and resilient growth in developed economies. The reversal in base metal prices will stem from a moderate economic slowdown in China, particularly in commodity-intense sectors. Fixed-asset investments in the world’s second-largest economy are slowing, and the real estate sector is gradually cooling. That said, the economic cycle outside China will be supportive of base metal activities. Against this backdrop, analysts see base metal prices falling 3.7% in Q4 2018 from the same quarter in 2017.

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Base Metals Historical Price Data

2012  2013  2014  2015  2016  
Aluminium2020.88  1845.86  1867.48  1663.69  1604.6  
Aluminium Alloy1935.97  1797.84  1950.43  1720.53  1553.26  
Alumina433.69  426.39  421.3  387.42  320.71  
Copper7954.23  7330.44  6863.26  5508.57  4871.3  
Nickel17522.38  15022.53  16897.92  11834.73  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  

Aluminium prices in USD per metric ton (mt).
Aluminium Alloy 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).

Sample Report

Price forecasts and historical data for Energy, Metals and Agricultural Commodities


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