Base Metals Price Outlook Economic Forecast

Base Metals Price Outlook

Base metal prices drop again in June amid weakening growth in China

In June, base metal prices fell 1.7% month-on-month, marking a third consecutive month of decline. The print followed a 4.8% decrease in May, which had marked the largest drop in 10 months.

Escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China continued to exert strong downward pressure on base metal prices in June. Prices for iron ore and lead were notable exceptions, which soared thanks to tight supply. Meanwhile, prices for the remaining base metals slid as factory activity in China, the world’s largest manufacturer, shrank more than expected in June, bruising appetite and denting demand for the metals.

The ongoing global trade spat between the two superpowers continues to curb growth in China, the world’s top base metal consumer, in turn weighing on the short-term price outlook for base metal prices. As such, FocusEconomics panelists see base metal prices falling 3.2% year-on-year in Q4, (previously reported: -0.4% year-on-year). Base metal prices should rebound in 2020 and our panelists expect prices to increase 4.0% 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  
Alumina406.26  410.9  377.2  310.14  348.34292307692  
Copper7330.44  6863.26  5508.57  4871.3  6171.78  
Nickel15022.53  16897.92  11835.3  9596.5  10414.13  
Lead2139.23  2095  1787.3  1866.99  2313.17  
Zinc1910.09  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  573.91954022989  422.10344827586  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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