Base Metals Price Outlook Economic Forecast

Base Metals Price Outlook

Base metal prices slide for the first time in over a year in August

Prices for base metals declined 0.2% over the previous month in August, contrasting July’s 1.4% increase and falling for the first time since April 2020.

Following    a strong start in July, prices for base metals took a hit midway through Q3. Weak Chinese industrial activity and fixed investment data for July fueled worries of a waning recovery in the Asian giant in August, weighing on prices for base metals in turn.   At the same time, concerns of earlier-than-expected tapering by the Fed ahead of its annual symposium on 26–28 August further dampened trading activity. However, most base metals quickly shrugged off the damage, with 8 out of the 12 commodities tracked by our panelists logging gains in August compared to  July. Notably, prices for aluminium  hit an over decade-high in early September, as a coup in top bauxite producer Guinea—bauxite is key  for the production of aluminium—sent prices flying. That said, significant losses recorded in prices for iron ore, due to new steel output curbs in top consumer China, dragged on base metal prices overall.

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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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