Forecasts and market analysis based on price assessments from Fastmarkets MB and Fastmarkets AMM

Change font size:   

Base Metals

16 April 2019 Issue

  • Disappointing Chinese PMI data keeps LME base metals prices on back foot


    30 April 2019

    LME base metals prices were mostly treading water this morning, Tuesday April 30, while the market digests the disappointing Chinese data released earlier. This, combined with the fact that many Asian market participants are away for holidays this week, is likely to lead to subdued trading – but reduced liquidity could also lead to increased volatility.

  • Mixed start to the week, but some dip-buying evident


    29 April 2019

    Base metals prices have generally been weak in recent days but some dip-buying seems to be emerging, which for now is providing support. But, with much of Asia in, or heading for, Golden Week and Labor Day holidays, liquidity is likely to shrink either leading to more volatility, or quiet trading in the days ahead.

  • Base metals firmer across the board; recent price weakness runs into support


    26 April 2019

    Generally, LME prices have been weak in recent days and the strong dollar has been a factor in that, but dip-buying appears to be providing support in morning trading on Friday April 26.

  • LME base metals prices remain under pressure despite record-setting US equities


    24 April 2019

    Except for aluminium, which is edging higher, trading across the base metals this morning is leading to price weakness, despite record-setting levels seen in the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite on Tuesday.

  • Aluminium: Becoming oversold

    16 April 2019

    Aluminium price slipped lower again last week amid poor sentiment, particularly on the demand side. But with its technical indicators suggesting that the aluminium price has become oversold, we envisage short-term rebound momentum to emerge. Follow-through buying pressure on Monday morning is a positive development, but the light metal needs to hold on to the gains first to attract more buying

  • Base metals investment analysis: Positioning generally oscillating either side of net neutral

    16 April 2019

    For the bellwether copper market, speculative length is neither convincingly long nor short. That leaves the door open for fund-driven price moves in either direction. We still favour the upside, however, as a US-China trade deal may be marked by speculative short-covering and long position building.

  • Copper: Takeaways from CESCO week

    16 April 2019

    The copper industry gathered in Santiago last week for the annual CESCO week. Overall, sentiment was fairly bullish and that seems to be flowing into prices this week, with copper having another go at resistance in the $6,500s. In this week’s analysis we highlight some of the key takeaways from CESCO and give our opinion on some of the main talking points.

  • Demand Indicators: April 16 2019

    16 April 2019

    Demand indicators for the base metals market

  • Downloadable Base Metals Weekly Data April 16 2019

    16 April 2019

    Downloadable data for week April 16 2019

  • Lead: Support found around the Q4 2018 lows

    16 April 2019

    None of the base metals are in a hurry to advance, but most are holding up a lot better than lead, which saw prices fall last week to a low of $1,907 per tonne. Over Q4 2018, three price troughs lay between $1,876 per tonne and $1,897.50 per tonne. Dip buying seems to be evident and we wait to see if it is enough to provide support.

  • Market Summary: Holding pattern for now

    16 April 2019

    Base metals seem to be in something of a holding pattern, waiting for more details from US-China trade talks before making their next directional move. Given the likelihood of a positive conclusion, stronger demand-related signals from China, and tight underlying supply-demand balances, we maintain that the mostly likely next move will be to the upside.

  • Nickel: In need of a fresh catalyst

    16 April 2019

    Prices are oscillating around the $13,000 per tonne level, still buoyed by steady stock withdrawals and by bullish sentiment over the demand outlook in EVs. However, it seems that, like the other metals, nickel is waiting for another catalyst to facilitate its move into a higher trading range.

  • Technical analysis: Mixed picture

    16 April 2019

    Based on our latest technical analysis, tin and zinc are testing the downside, nickel is going sideways, while copper, lead and even aluminium are trying higher but unconvincingly at the moment.

  • Tin: Bearish short-term price risks still high

    16 April 2019

    We have not changed out view on tin prices and still believe there are significant risks of a deeper price correction in the short term as clarity emerges about the scale and speed of the Indonesian supply recovery, though this may now not happen until after this month’s government elections. We also still hold the view that dips, which could still go sub-$20,000 per tonne, will be welcomed as buying opportunities because visible stocks are so low and another annual supply deficit will keep pressure on them to fall further as this year progresses.

  • Zinc: Feeling the squeeze

    16 April 2019

    Although zinc prices remain capped around $2,900 per tonne for the moment, falling exchange stocks continue to be a supportive factor to price sentiment, as they are a reminder that the market remains in a structural deficit. The LME cash/three-month backwardation flared out again past $100 per tonne last week, which may lead to a pick-up in inflows, as it did in December.