Industrial metals: Excellent mood on the metal markets
by David Fleschen
Metal prices are starting the new week with a positive undertone, having already risen noticeably last Friday. Copper is trading above USD 9,500 per tonne, zinc costs a good USD 3,900 per tonne. Metal prices are probably supported by the higher risk appetite of market participants, which is also reflected in significantly rising stock markets. In addition, the US dollar is slightly weaker. The positive mood is probably also fuelled by the fact that the Corona measures are being eased in China: In Shanghai, all industrial activities are allowed to resume as of Wednesday and the port has returned to 60% of its usual activity, according to Shanghai Metals Market. In Beijing, movement restrictions have also been eased in various districts as there have been few new corona cases recently.
The nickel price rose 4% on Friday and is jumping another 5% or around USD 1,400 this morning. It is thus approaching the USD 30,000 per tonne mark. As was revealed last week, Indonesia is considering an export tax on nickel products with low metal content, according to statements by the investment minister, in order to encourage investment in processing capacities and thus the production of higher-quality nickel products. The Indonesian government has banned the export of untreated nickel ore since the beginning of 2020 to attract investment in the value chain. However, the Indonesian nickel industry is still dominated by products such as nickel pig iron and ferronickel. The aim is to one day produce high-quality nickel for batteries and the batteries themselves. According to the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF), global stainless steel demand is expected to grow by 3.6% this year and 3.2% next year. A specific level was not mentioned. Industry circles assume that supply and demand for stainless steel will roughly balance each other out this year. MEPS puts stainless steel production at 58 million tonnes.
Source: Commerzbank Research, Photo: Fotolia