Monthly Metal Review

Overview

    Base metals prices have rebounded sharply from early February lows as milder-than-expected inflation in China has eased concerns over monetary tightening and as assurances of broader Euro-zone support to help manage European fiscal issues have tempered concerns of sovereign default in the region. Besides, Developed Market fundamentals have also shown nascent, but meaningful signs of improvement, led by the United States. This improvement reinforces the idea that rising demand from Developed Markets, on top of continued robust demand from Emerging Markets, will continue to support the base metals complex and ultimately prove most supportive for more supply-constrained metals such as copper.
    It is nevertheless important to emphasize that despite recent positive signs, the Western world is not yet on solid footing, as evidenced by the 10.5 points drop to 46 in the February US Consumer Confidence Index. Hence, Western demand remains a key risk. Further, signs of a likely temporary slowing in Chinese demand for global supplies with SHFE-LME arbitrage now shut, on top of ongoing policy risk, suggest that the markets will likely remain fragile in the near term.
    Yet, several factors have begun to point to improving demand and tighter metals fundamentals in the West and in the US in particular.
    In the Unites States, the Employment Index is up to 56.1% for the third consecutive month and recent data suggests that production is beginning to catch up with positive leading indicators with January IP data confirming the surge in activity. Specifically, this month, IP was substantially higher than expected, increasing 0.9% month-on-month and rising above year-ago levels for the first time since March 2008. Although activity remains below pre-recession levels, the recent gains confirm that improvement is ongoing and gaining momentum. In addition, leading the gains were metals-intensive sectors, with IP for Motor Vehicles and Parts in particular surging 40.2% above year-ago levels, consistent with a sharp increase in US auto production.
     The stronger-than-expected IP in the United States follows a set of strong data from both Japan - where IP surprisingly increased 5.3% year-on-year in December - and South Korea, where IP surged 33.9% year-on-year. Much of these gains were also centered in metals-intensive electronics and transport sectors. The Euro zone appears to have bucked this trend, rising from 52.4 to 54.2. The German PMI was particularly strong, rising from 53.7 to 57.2.
    The dollar index rose to a new 8-month high this month and the EURUSD finished the month at 1.3570 (9-month low), however the euro rebounded in late February as worries over Europe's debt crisis eased a little on Bloomberg news that Germany might buy Greek bonds through state state-owned development bank KFW. Greece has been at the center of the euro's struggles the last few months, with its fiscal debt this year estimated at more than 120% of GDP, the highest of any euro zone member.
    Eventually, oil prices rose to trade near $80 a barrel on February 26, after the upward revision in the U.S. gross domestic product data boosted sentiment.

Daily Prices

February 2010

Copper
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 6848.18
26-02-2010 7072
25-02-2010 7046
24-02-2010 7032
23-02-2010 7227
22-02-2010 7338
19-02-2010 7193
18-02-2010 7086
17-02-2010 7119.5
16-02-2010 6940
15-02-2010 6841
12-02-2010 6766
11-02-2010 6672.5
10-02-2010 6610.5
09-02-2010 6485
08-02-2010 6329
05-02-2010 6242
04-02-2010 6571
03-02-2010 6853
02-02-2010 6865
01-02-2010 6675
Silver
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average 15.87
26-02-2010 16.12
25-02-2010 15.92
24-02-2010 15.76
23-02-2010 16.1
22-02-2010 16.44
19-02-2010 15.95
18-02-2010 15.83
17-02-2010 16.21
16-02-2010 15.82
15-02-2010 15.57
12-02-2010 15.33
11-02-2010 15.37
10-02-2010 15.6
09-02-2010 15.2
08-02-2010 15.14
05-02-2010 15.17
04-02-2010 16.13
03-02-2010 16.79
02-02-2010 16.78
01-02-2010 16.23
PM MEAN AM Gold
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average -
26-02-2010 -
25-02-2010 -
24-02-2010 -
23-02-2010 -
22-02-2010 -
19-02-2010 -
18-02-2010 -
17-02-2010 -
16-02-2010 -
15-02-2010 -
12-02-2010 -
11-02-2010 -
10-02-2010 -
09-02-2010 -
08-02-2010 -
05-02-2010 -
04-02-2010 -
03-02-2010 -
02-02-2010 -
01-02-2010 -
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average -
26-02-2010 -
25-02-2010 -
24-02-2010 -
23-02-2010 -
22-02-2010 -
19-02-2010 -
18-02-2010 -
17-02-2010 -
16-02-2010 -
15-02-2010 -
12-02-2010 -
11-02-2010 -
10-02-2010 -
09-02-2010 -
08-02-2010 -
05-02-2010 -
04-02-2010 -
03-02-2010 -
02-02-2010 -
01-02-2010 -
Date(Fix.) ($/OZ)
Average 1095.41
26-02-2010 1108.25
25-02-2010 1094.5
24-02-2010 1103
23-02-2010 1107
22-02-2010 1115.25
19-02-2010 1112.75
18-02-2010 1118
17-02-2010 1119
16-02-2010 1115.25
15-02-2010 1098.25
12-02-2010 1082
11-02-2010 1076.25
10-02-2010 1069.5
09-02-2010 1071.25
08-02-2010 1064
05-02-2010 1058
04-02-2010 1083.25
03-02-2010 1115.25
02-02-2010 1111
01-02-2010 1086.5
Lead
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 2123.68
26-02-2010 2138.5
25-02-2010 2150
24-02-2010 2167.5
23-02-2010 2295
22-02-2010 2319.5
19-02-2010 2289.5
18-02-2010 2240
17-02-2010 2275
16-02-2010 2196
15-02-2010 2135
12-02-2010 2080
11-02-2010 2065
10-02-2010 2079.5
09-02-2010 1972
08-02-2010 1935
05-02-2010 1925
04-02-2010 2005
03-02-2010 2110
02-02-2010 2095
01-02-2010 2001
Zinc
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 2156.90
26-02-2010 2157.5
25-02-2010 2148.5
24-02-2010 2157
23-02-2010 2226
22-02-2010 2285.5
19-02-2010 2261
18-02-2010 2250.5
17-02-2010 2291
16-02-2010 2222.5
15-02-2010 2182
12-02-2010 2130.5
11-02-2010 2155
10-02-2010 2147.5
09-02-2010 2046
08-02-2010 1999
05-02-2010 1981
04-02-2010 2082.5
03-02-2010 2165
02-02-2010 2157.5
01-02-2010 2092.5
Tin
Date(Fix.) ($/MT)
Average 16361.75
26-02-2010 16675
25-02-2010 16830
24-02-2010 16660
23-02-2010 17000
22-02-2010 17005
19-02-2010 16900
18-02-2010 16655
17-02-2010 16700
16-02-2010 16605
15-02-2010 16400
12-02-2010 16125
11-02-2010 16000
10-02-2010 15955
09-02-2010 15500
08-02-2010 14950
05-02-2010 15665
04-02-2010 16620
03-02-2010 16600
02-02-2010 16330
01-02-2010 16060