Monthly Metal Review

Overview

Thus far in 2009, base metal prices have not followed on from the sharp decline in 2008, even though the macroeconomic outlook has persistently darkened in recent months. In the EU, industrial production (IP) fell 2.3% month-on-month in February 2009, and by 18.4% year-on-year. In the US, IP fell to the lowest level since December 1998, to be down 12.8% year-on-year in March. In Russia, IP was reportedly down 14.3% year-on-year in the 1Q09. In China, IP growth came in at 8.3% year-on-year in March, bringing 1Q year-on-year growth to 5.1%, while Chinese GDP growth slowed to 6.1% year-on-year, compared to 6.8% in 4Q08. Global GDP is on track to post a decline of 5.7% annualised in Q1, after a 6.7% annualised decline in Q4 last year. The data accordingly show the global economy firmly mired in recession, but the good news is that the pace of decline is now slowing. Forward looking indicators of economic growth have moved from being sharply disappointing to exhibiting signs of stability, albeit at low levels. For instance, the Euro area manufacturing flash PMI output index for March rose 0.5 points. The ratio of new orders to inventory turned higher for three straight months to March, indicating that the December 2008 month marked the lowest point for this important forward indicator of manufacturing activity, similar to equivalent indicators in the US and Japan, and in most of the emerging economies. Arguably commodity prices, now up around 10% to 15% for the year to date, have begun to respond to this less negative demand environment, although supply adjustments, USD weakness and inflation concerns over the longer term have also played a key role in bidding prices up off their late 2008 - early 2009. Moreover, China’s base metal re-stocking has played a great role in supporting prices so far this year, but will not be sufficient to take up the slack in the West. There, demand for base metals will contract in 2009 and in some cases by double digits. China’s economy in 2009 will only grow by 8%, which will not be enough to soak up metals’ supply, even with current production cuts. The copper price has risen by as much as 48% in 2009, and all but aluminium and nickel have enjoyed double-digit price growth. However, slender signs of stabilisation in the global economy are now at risk of being snuffed out by what might turn out to be the first global health-related pandemic in 40 years. “Swine flu” if it achieves mass global contagion will obviously damage many sectors, including all base and some precious metals. Only gold might benefit, as investors turn to it while all else seems to be failing.

Daily Prices

April 2009

Copper
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 4406.55
30-04-2009 4515
29-04-2009 4300.5
28-04-2009 4185
27-04-2009 4305.5
24-04-2009 4362
23-04-2009 4541
22-04-2009 4447
21-04-2009 4402.5
20-04-2009 4636
17-04-2009 4725
16-04-2009 4766
15-04-2009 4750
14-04-2009 4582
09-04-2009 4465
08-04-2009 4305
07-04-2009 4309
06-04-2009 4330.5
03-04-2009 4130
02-04-2009 4110.5
01-04-2009 3963.5
Silver
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average 12.51
30-04-2009 12.63
29-04-2009 12.5
28-04-2009 12.56
27-04-2009 12.98
24-04-2009 12.78
23-04-2009 12.43
22-04-2009 12.12
21-04-2009 12.14
20-04-2009 12.06
17-04-2009 11.98
16-04-2009 12.65
15-04-2009 12.935
14-04-2009 12.65
09-04-2009 12.3
08-04-2009 12.28
07-04-2009 12.17
06-04-2009 12.41
03-04-2009 12.86
02-04-2009 12.88
01-04-2009 12.98
PM MEAN AM Gold
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average -
30-04-2009 -
29-04-2009 -
28-04-2009 -
27-04-2009 -
24-04-2009 -
23-04-2009 -
22-04-2009 -
21-04-2009 -
20-04-2009 -
17-04-2009 -
16-04-2009 -
15-04-2009 -
14-04-2009 -
09-04-2009 -
08-04-2009 -
07-04-2009 -
06-04-2009 -
03-04-2009 -
02-04-2009 -
01-04-2009 -
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average -
30-04-2009 -
29-04-2009 -
28-04-2009 -
27-04-2009 -
24-04-2009 -
23-04-2009 -
22-04-2009 -
21-04-2009 -
20-04-2009 -
17-04-2009 -
16-04-2009 -
15-04-2009 -
14-04-2009 -
09-04-2009 -
08-04-2009 -
07-04-2009 -
06-04-2009 -
03-04-2009 -
02-04-2009 -
01-04-2009 -
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average 890.20
30-04-2009 883.25
29-04-2009 898.25
28-04-2009 891
27-04-2009 907.5
24-04-2009 907.5
23-04-2009 897.5
22-04-2009 886
21-04-2009 888.75
20-04-2009 877
17-04-2009 870.5
16-04-2009 880.5
15-04-2009 891
14-04-2009 887.5
09-04-2009 880.5
08-04-2009 880
07-04-2009 879.75
06-04-2009 870.25
03-04-2009 905
02-04-2009 897.75
01-04-2009 924.5
Lead
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 1383.08
30-04-2009 1355
29-04-2009 1318
28-04-2009 1309
27-04-2009 1375
24-04-2009 1410.5
23-04-2009 1461.5
22-04-2009 1443
21-04-2009 1438
20-04-2009 1509
17-04-2009 1525
16-04-2009 1525
15-04-2009 1502
14-04-2009 1425
09-04-2009 1352.5
08-04-2009 1302
07-04-2009 1315
06-04-2009 1312
03-04-2009 1283
02-04-2009 1259
01-04-2009 1242
Zinc
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 1378.85
30-04-2009 1408
29-04-2009 1362
28-04-2009 1318
27-04-2009 1341
24-04-2009 1383.5
23-04-2009 1422
22-04-2009 1420.5
21-04-2009 1396
20-04-2009 1473
17-04-2009 1502
16-04-2009 1501
15-04-2009 1448.5
14-04-2009 1401.5
09-04-2009 1352
08-04-2009 1310
07-04-2009 1320
06-04-2009 1341
03-04-2009 1313
02-04-2009 1303
01-04-2009 1261
Tin
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 11743.50
30-04-2009 12560
29-04-2009 12300
28-04-2009 12105
27-04-2009 12400
24-04-2009 12700
23-04-2009 12770
22-04-2009 12500
21-04-2009 11920
20-04-2009 12400
17-04-2009 12200
16-04-2009 11600
15-04-2009 11600
14-04-2009 11100
09-04-2009 11055
08-04-2009 11000
07-04-2009 10860
06-04-2009 11075
03-04-2009 11000
02-04-2009 11075
01-04-2009 10650