Research

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

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Base Metals

11 September 2018 Issue

  • Metals market relieved new US tariffs were not more damaging

    Free

    18 September 2018

    The base metals are slightly firmer this morning despite US President Donald Trump imposing 10% tariffs on a further $200 billion of Chinese exports. The market is no doubt relieved it was not 25%.

  • Short-term buying returns on easing trade tensions, weaker dollar

    Free

    13 September 2018

    The US’ invitation to China to resume trade talks has provided much-needed relief for base metals. The complex has so far managed to keep hold of the gains made on Wednesday, but the big question is whether the rebound momentum can be sustained.

  • Base metals prices trying to recover, but trade jitters linger

    Free

    12 September 2018

    Although the steadier tone from yesterday has continued into this morning's trading, the base metals are still struggling to hold on to any meaningful price gains while we await some clarity on the US trade position.

  • Aluminium: Range-bound

    11 September 2018

    Aluminium prices continue to consolidate while the negative macro environment dominates. This is capping the upside for prices. But in view of the ongoing supply-side uncertainties, including the looming winter heating season in China, the downside price risks are limited. That leaves aluminium with nowhere to go but sideways in the short-to-medium term.

  • Base metals investment analysis: Speculative sentiment will flip when trade fears subside

    11 September 2018

    Net speculative length is at its most bearish since October 2016. Our view is that speculators have become excessively negative about trade disputes and are overlooking generally bullish fundamentals. This mismatch is unsustainable.

  • Copper: The pain is almost over

    11 September 2018

    LME copper prices have remained depressed below $6,000 per tonne so far in September. However, we reiterate that the weakness is essentially driven by macro fears, prompting a broad-based deleveraging across risk assets, especially copper – one of the most risk-sensitive base metals. Since we expect macro tensions to abate, we still envisage a solid rebound in copper prices in the months ahead because the positive forward fundamental picture should reassert itself.

  • Demand Indicators: September 11 2018

    11 September 2018

    Demand indicators for the base metals market

  • Downloadable Base Metals Weekly Data September 11 2018

    11 September 2018

    Downloadable data for week September 11 2018

  • Lead: Not bearish, but forecasts cut

    11 September 2018

    Lead’s rally ran out of steam last week. At $2,050 per tonne, LME three-month prices are 6.9 percent above the August lows, but 23.6 percent down from the February high. At these low price levels lead seems more buoyant than most of the other base metals, thanks to its tight fundamentals. Although we have revised down our price forecasts this week, we are not bearish per se, but the sell-off has lowered the price base.

  • Market Summary: Range-bound

    11 September 2018

    Aluminium prices continue to consolidate while the negative macro environment dominates. This is capping the upside for prices. But in view of the ongoing supply-side uncertainties, including the looming winter heating season in China, the downside price risks are limited. That leaves aluminium with nowhere to go but sideways in the short-to-medium term.

  • Nickel: Buying opportunities

    11 September 2018

    The structural deficit in the nickel market is no longer providing prices with much support, as the troubling macro backdrop has seen battery bulls stopped out. The current technical configuration points lower in the short term, but the fundamental picture points higher in the longer term. That means this sell-off is a buying opportunity.

  • Technical analysis: Sellers still in charge

    11 September 2018

    There’s been little let-up for the base metals with sellers still in charge.

  • Tin: Healthy fundamentals

    11 September 2018

    Tin prices have stabilised since the start of September, marking a more resilient performance than that of the other base metals lately, partly due to consumer restocking. We expect the fundamentals for tin to remain healthy in the remainder of the year and beyond, which should result in a solid rebound in prices the months ahead, once macro tensions dissipate. So although we have lowered our price forecast this week, we are still looking for a Q4 rally.

  • Zinc: Macro cap

    11 September 2018

    A tentative price base is forming, and in view of the persistent supply tightness in China, zinc prices could be squeezed higher in the short term. However, broader macroeconomic concerns are still holding back sentiment and prices in general across all the base metals. So, the complex, including zinc, remains vulnerable on the downside if a deeper bout of risk aversion is triggered.