Monthly Metal Review

Overview

Plans by the Federal Reserve to buy $300 billion of US government debt triggered the stampede into commodities markets, which had been suffering sharp price falls on worries that the world was heading for a depression. For the first time in almost a year, traders looked to oil and other raw materials as a hedge against an unexpected jump in prices. Therefore hopes of a rebounding demand helped drive the benchmark US oil price above $50 a barrel to its highest since the start of December, while copper climbed above $4,000 a tonne for the first time in four months. In the US indeed, some positive data were released. New orders for durable goods increased by 3.4% month-on-month in February, following six consecutive months of declines. Machinery was the biggest mover, up 13.5%. New home sales also rose in February, up by 4.7% month-on-month. However, several economic news continue to cloud the base metals spectrum, suggesting sentiment is running ahead of reality. Unnerving to the market was a statement by a federal official that bankruptcy may be the best option for GM and Chrysler. Besides, the CEO of GM, Rick Wagoner resigned as requested by the Obama administration. In other bailout news, Treasury Secretary Geittner admitted that some banks will still need “large amounts” of assistance to keep operating. Adding to the negative picture, Japan’s industrial production fell for the fifth straight month in February. Similarly, Euro-zone industrial production is contracting at an extremely rapid rate in early 2009, with January’s data pointing to a 17.3% year-on-year decline. Global car production was down an astonishing 42% year-on-year in December 2008 and January 2009. The transport sector is a major end-use market for steel, aluminium, and zinc in particular, and these markets have been very hard-hit in the current downturn. At this stage in the global economic crisis, it is worth highlighting the prominent role of China who is restocking at a high pace. Their restocking is partly speculative, partly for strategic reasons and partly to support the local industry. China announced $22 billion of investments in mining companies and may also spend more than $500 billion on overseas resources investments over the next eight years to secure supplies to drive economic growth. China cannot be expected to be the world’s economy saviour, yet it has been solely responsible for the recent metals rally, and lately not by just SRB re-stocking and other mechanisms that have merely moved surplus metal from one location to the next. However, the market has been buoyed by the three consecutive rises in China’s manufacturing PMI, which is a good proxy for base metals’ demand, and China’s intention to throw whatever it takes to reach its target growth rate of 8% in 2009.

Daily Prices

March 2009

Copper
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 3749.75
31-03-2009 4035
30-03-2009 3872
27-03-2009 3946
26-03-2009 4078
25-03-2009 3890
24-03-2009 3911
23-03-2009 4006.5
20-03-2009 3911
19-03-2009 3930
18-03-2009 3740
17-03-2009 3761
16-03-2009 3690
13-03-2009 3671
12-03-2009 3494
11-03-2009 3636
10-03-2009 3667.5
09-03-2009 3567
06-03-2009 3693
05-03-2009 3640.5
04-03-2009 3545
03-03-2009 3480
02-03-2009 3330
Silver
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average 13.12
31-03-2009 13.11
30-03-2009 12.96
27-03-2009 13.22
26-03-2009 13.6
25-03-2009 13.16
24-03-2009 13.51
23-03-2009 13.76
20-03-2009 13.65
19-03-2009 13.13
18-03-2009 12.61
17-03-2009 12.86
16-03-2009 13.06
13-03-2009 13.11
12-03-2009 12.84
11-03-2009 12.62
10-03-2009 12.71
09-03-2009 13.36
06-03-2009 13.46
05-03-2009 13.15
04-03-2009 12.87
03-03-2009 12.68
02-03-2009 13.14
PM MEAN AM Gold
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average -
31-03-2009 -
30-03-2009 -
27-03-2009 -
26-03-2009 -
25-03-2009 -
24-03-2009 -
23-03-2009 -
20-03-2009 -
19-03-2009 -
18-03-2009 -
17-03-2009 -
16-03-2009 -
13-03-2009 -
12-03-2009 -
11-03-2009 -
10-03-2009 -
09-03-2009 -
06-03-2009 -
05-03-2009 -
04-03-2009 -
03-03-2009 -
02-03-2009 -
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average -
31-03-2009 -
30-03-2009 -
27-03-2009 -
26-03-2009 -
25-03-2009 -
24-03-2009 -
23-03-2009 -
20-03-2009 -
19-03-2009 -
18-03-2009 -
17-03-2009 -
16-03-2009 -
13-03-2009 -
12-03-2009 -
11-03-2009 -
10-03-2009 -
09-03-2009 -
06-03-2009 -
05-03-2009 -
04-03-2009 -
03-03-2009 -
02-03-2009 -
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average 924.27
31-03-2009 916.5
30-03-2009 928
27-03-2009 924
26-03-2009 938.25
25-03-2009 929
24-03-2009 923.75
23-03-2009 949.25
20-03-2009 954
19-03-2009 956.5
18-03-2009 893.25
17-03-2009 915.5
16-03-2009 919.5
13-03-2009 928
12-03-2009 925.25
11-03-2009 899.5
10-03-2009 901.5
09-03-2009 923.75
06-03-2009 936
05-03-2009 913
04-03-2009 908.5
03-03-2009 913.75
02-03-2009 937.25
Lead
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 1238.91
31-03-2009 1272
30-03-2009 1235
27-03-2009 1255
26-03-2009 1310.5
25-03-2009 1252
24-03-2009 1251
23-03-2009 1341
20-03-2009 1302
19-03-2009 1335
18-03-2009 1320.5
17-03-2009 1333.5
16-03-2009 1285
13-03-2009 1266.5
12-03-2009 1230.5
11-03-2009 1280
10-03-2009 1250
09-03-2009 1216
06-03-2009 1190
05-03-2009 1160.5
04-03-2009 1104
03-03-2009 1042
02-03-2009 1024
Zinc
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 1216.75
31-03-2009 1300.5
30-03-2009 1280.5
27-03-2009 1283
26-03-2009 1309
25-03-2009 1236
24-03-2009 1222
23-03-2009 1255.5
20-03-2009 1230
19-03-2009 1222
18-03-2009 1192
17-03-2009 1226
16-03-2009 1230.5
13-03-2009 1216.5
12-03-2009 1187.5
11-03-2009 1216.5
10-03-2009 1238
09-03-2009 1182
06-03-2009 1225
05-03-2009 1186.5
04-03-2009 1146
03-03-2009 1105
02-03-2009 1078.5
Tin
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 10675.91
31-03-2009 10425
30-03-2009 10330
27-03-2009 10210
26-03-2009 10305
25-03-2009 10225
24-03-2009 10355
23-03-2009 10600
20-03-2009 10450
19-03-2009 10650
18-03-2009 10055
17-03-2009 10475
16-03-2009 10550
13-03-2009 10800
12-03-2009 11000
11-03-2009 11055
10-03-2009 11150
09-03-2009 11275
06-03-2009 11350
05-03-2009 11100
04-03-2009 10650
03-03-2009 10810
02-03-2009 11050