Base Metals Price Outlook Economic Forecast

Base Metals Price Outlook

Base metal prices continue to rise in February 

Base metal prices rose 3.2% in February, easing from January’s 4.7% increase, which had marked the highest reading since May 2021.

The Russia-Ukraine war has been at the epicenter of the base metal price rally in recent weeks. Fears of significant supply disruptions ahead, due to international sanctions that would restrict Russian supply of base metals, boosted prices for most base metals in October, with aluminium and alumina particularly heavily affected due to a halt of shipments from Ukraine amid an already-tight global market. Similarly, prices for nickel, for which Russia is the third largest global producer, shot up in February, while prices for tin, iron ore and zinc were also supported by supply worries stemming from the geopolitical conflict. Meanwhile, prices for copper rose at a relatively mild pace last month, as upside pressures stemming from supply fears, due to international sanctions on Russia, were partly offset by a less rosy demand outlook globally and a large selloff in completed Russian stocks. Turning to steels, while European steel prices received a boost from war-related supply concerns, prices for U.S. steel dove—defying the overall trend in base metals—following the agreement to cut U.S. tariffs on Japanese steel.

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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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