Base metal prices keeping a downward trend (info & data)


Important to know of Today’s market:

  • European CB President Mario Draghi Speaks
  • Bank of Canada Governor Poloz Speaks
  • UK Services Purchasing Managers Index rose to actual 55.0 (forecast was 53.3)

For more info:


LME Today:

All base metal prices on the London Metal Exchange humbled today in morning trade, May 4. After a significant sell-off on Wednesday that saw copper prices down 3.7% and nickel falling 3.3%.

Three-month copper price fell further this morning as it began trading below $5,600 per tonne. Nickel price fell additionaly $150 per tonne. All other base metals saw a slight decline.

Metal Bulletin senior analyst, William Adams, said:

“The battering the base metals suffered on Wednesday has poured cold water on last week’s attempted rebounds and has opened the way for more price weakness, especially in the case of nickel where prices have dropped to levels not seen since June last year.”  (Metal Bulletin)

Copper inventories on the LME have risen by over 60,000 tonnes over the last two days.


Copper below $5,600/t

On Wednesday, the LME copper price plummeted by over $200 per tonne at the close of trading. Three-month copper price is down $39.50 to $5,560.50 per tonne.
Copper inventories up 32,925 tonnes to 317,850 tonnes, with 29,275 of this in Busan. It follows a rise of 31,250 tonnes yesterday.

  • Reuters wrote that German copper products group Wieland will be acquiring the copper and steel tube business Wolverine Tube as part of its plans to expand internationally.

Workers at PT Freeport Indonesia still continuing with the one-month announced strike. They are persistent & not giving up their ideas. This is reducing the copper outputs. And will surely lead to lower supplies.

Other base metals fall

Three-month aluminium price fell $12.50 to $1,911 per tonne.  Stocks declined 1,175 tonnes to 1,609,925 tonnes. 

“Held well against yesterday’s sell off, trading in a $19 range (vs copper that spanned $196) with evidence of consumer buying via the spreads market. Light turnover in comparison to the copper and nickel.” (F.M.)
Nickel plunged another $150 to $9,080 per tonne. Yesterday nickel prices declined $285.  Inventories were up 30 tonnes to 380,502 tonnes.
The 3month zinc price fell $26.50 to $2,548.50 per tonne. Inventories for zinc fell 2,250 tonnes to 342,475 tonnes. Glencore’s zinc production rose 9% y-o-y, with the company adding that it currently has no plans to restart idled capacity in Australia and Peru.
Lead started trading today at $2,167.60 per tonne – a decline of $34.50 on yesterday’s close. Stocks were up 5,550 tonnes to 174,250 tonnes.
The three-month tin price decreased just $60 to $19,830 per tonne as it consolidates around the $19,800-19,900 mark.
Tin stocks on the LME fell to the lowest recorded since 1980 yesterday. Stocks declined a further 35 tonnes today and currently stand at 2,630 tonnes. (Numbers from Fast Markets)


Metal Bulletin wrote an article on data about: Spanish unemployment, services PMI across Europe, data on UK lending, EU retail sales and a host of US data including: Challenger job cuts, initial jobless claims. Also non-farm productivity, labour costs, the trade balance. Paying attention to factory orders and natural gas storage. There’s many going on today, it will also be a challenging trade for next few days.

Small price increases for LME base metals; only zinc declines (27.04.)


Another morning of wispy price increases today, on the London Metal Exchange. Following average gains of 0.8% on Wednesday.

Zinc was the only base metal to see a decline this morning, falling just $2 per ton. All other metals recorded small increases.

Copper prices were followed by the news that major copper producers BHP Billiton, Freeport-McMoRan and Antofagasta had lowered their production forecasts for 2017 due to operation disruptions. The three-month copper price continued to rise, currently trading at $5,719.50 per ton.

Nickel hit its lowest since June 2016 at the kerb of trading yesterday, but rose $40 per ton during premarket trading this morning.

“On balance, we remain mildly bullish for the base metals’ fundamentals but volume on the LME remains low, so it may take a pick-up in volume before prices become more directional again.” (Metal Bulletin senior analyst William Adams.)

Copper price rallies


  • The three-month copper price rose by $4.50 to $5,719.50 per ton – this is the fourth day in a row the copper price has increased.
  • Inventories fell 900 tons to 260,575 tons, a fifth consecutive day of decline. 
  • Sucden Financial noted in its Q2 metals forecast: “Supply disruptions [for copper] and labor disputes will have the potential to squeeze prices higher still and, with macro tailwinds suggesting robust demand growth, we expect prices to trade on the floor at around $5,550 per ton.”
  • BHP Billiton has cut its copper production guidance for the 2017 financial year again due to the 44-day long strike at its Escondida mine during the quarter ending March 31, following a 2% reduction on its guidance in the fourth quarter last year.
  • Rio Tinto has also revised its 2017 copper production guidance downward after reporting a 37% decline in first quarter copper output due to the significant impact of the strike at Escondida and the production curtailment at Freeport’s Grasberg.

All other base metals rise; Zinc decline

The three-month aluminium price continued its premarket trend of the week with a small increase. It rose $5.50 to $1,969.50 per ton.

Aluminium stocks fell again, but by the smaller margin that we have recently been seeing; they dropped just 3,925 tons to 1,652,200 tons.

Nickel rose $40 to $9,265 per tons, as it tries to recover from freefalling prices over the last few days. Nickel stocks were down 336 tons to 379,002 tons.

Zinc was the only metal to see a price decline. The three-month zinc price fell $2 per ton to start trading at $2,624 per ton.

The three-month lead price saw an increase of $6 to $2,191 per ton and Inventories fell 350 tons to 165,400 tons.

Tin rose $10 to $19,910 per ton, and it looks to bounce back above the $20,000 per ton mark. Stocks for tin fell 10 tons to 3,020 tons.

Currency moves and data releases

  • The dollar index was up 0.01 to 98.96.
  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price was down 0.62% to $51.13 per barrel.
  • The UK FSTE 100 was down 38.22 (0.52%) to 7,250.50.
  • In data, US crude oil inventories saw a decline of 3.6 million. The stronger-than-expected decline is crude oil inventories is boosting oil prices, which in turn exerts upward pressure across the metals complex.
  • The Gfk German consumer climate for April was 10.2, up on the previous rating of 9.8. The Spanish unemployment rate for Q2 of 2016 was 18.8% – higher than the forecasted 18.6%.
  • The economic agenda is busy today with a host of US data out, including on core durable goods orders, unemployment claims, goods trade balance and pending home sales.