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

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Base Metals

14 January 2020 Issue

  • Broader markets weaker as profit-taking, virus concerns hit sentiment


    21 January 2020

    Profit-taking ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday and nervousness over the outbreak of a new coronavirus in China have led to the market becoming more risk-off this morning, Tuesday January 21.

  • Markets firmer but quiet ahead of Lunar New Year break


    20 January 2020

    Broader markets were generally firmer but quiet on Monday January 20, with equities in Asia mainly stronger, as were the base metals, while gold was holding up in high ground.

  • Aluminium: High enough for now

    14 January 2020

    Aluminium prices have been working steadily higher since their October lows but a lot of the positives may already be priced in and technical resistance has been encountered. We think prices have done enough on the upside for now. Our recently revised base-case cash price forecasts remain at $1,780 per tonne for Q1 2020 and $1,808 per tonne for the full year.

  • Base metals investment analysis: Risk appetite returning after geopolitical concerns subside

    14 January 2020

    US-Iran tensions have de-escalated surprisingly quickly and risk appetite is returning to the base metals now that investors have fewer distractions from their focus on this year’s more positive macro narrative.

  • Copper: Expect a pick-up in demand growth

    14 January 2020

    Given the high sensitivity of copper prices to macro factors, we expect copper to continue to move higher in the near term considering the more supportive macro picture. For the whole of 2020, we expect an acceleration in global refined copper consumption growth, which should underpin a deficit in the refined copper market and, therefore, support a broad upward trajectory in copper prices.

  • Demand Indicators: 14 January 2020

    14 January 2020

    Demand indicators for the base metals market

  • Downloadable Base Metals Weekly Data January 14 2020

    14 January 2020

    Downloadable data for week January 14 2020

  • Lead: Calm before the storm

    14 January 2020

    Lead prices are still rangebound in the $1,900-1,950 per tonne area, continuing to build a potentially significant technical base that could become the springboard for a rally in the coming weeks. As well as prices, however, activity on stocks, spreads and premiums is also quiet, supporting the view that the market is more balanced now.

  • Market Summary: De-risking

    14 January 2020

    Base metal prices have experienced some sharp rebounds after the risk-off episode sparked by the deadly US airstrike on a top Iranian commander on January 3. The focus now is on the signing of the ‘phase 1’ US-China trade deal this week, which could further de-risk the outlook.

  • Nickel: Could go either way

    14 January 2020

    Since early December, LME nickel prices have been in the process of consolidating the sell-off that followed the September high. The consolidation is continuing amid technical, fundamental, macro and geopolitical cross currents. As such, while we still believe that the long-term direction for nickel prices is upward, the next direction in the short term is unclear and we think it would be unwise to be overly bullish at the moment.

  • Technical analysis: Mostly short-term negative-to-neutral

    14 January 2020

    Some base metals have been rallying recently, but now face resistance and reversals before trying higher again, while other metals are in consolidation pattern that could yet conclude with short-term downside breakouts.

  • Tin: Rebound likely to continue

    14 January 2020

    The LME tin price has rebounded well after its noticeable sell-off on January 3, in line with our expectations. Although exchange inventories remain in an uptrend trend, thereby suggesting no signs of restocking from under-stocked downstream tin buyers, we believe that the rebound in tin prices will continue in the first quarter, underpinned by seasonal and macro factors.

  • Zinc: Facing resistance

    14 January 2020

    Together with the improved geopolitical and macro background, the low level of global exchange stocks has been providing short-term support to zinc prices. But the prospect of rising supply in the coming months could quell this tightness and nullify its price-supportive effect in the medium to longer term.