Copper crashes, London Metal Exchange in hot water, metal detector fail, smelter cuts and UK government tariffs.
The global copper price crash rumbles onwards, adding pressure to an already difficult time for industrial metals. On the other hand metal prices in general are predicted to soar before long as our sector heads for the ‘worst quarter since the financial crisis’ in 2008. The LME is being sued by a US hedge fund. Aluminium prices are all over the place.
Here’s the news. However bad it gets we’ll be here, serving up our usual hearty helpings of fairly priced metals in all the most popular formats.
Copper crash deepens over fears of a global slow-down
The price of copper is falling fast amid fears of a global economic slow-down. It has dropped below $7,500 a ton, adding fresh worry to already rocky times. It’s a very different story from the record highs we reported not so long ago. Europe’s gas crisis isn’t helping. The USA’s economic slump is also pulling the price of copper down, as are continuing covid outbreaks in China. We’re also seeing aluminium, nickel and tin prices dropping fast… but the experts predict prices will shoot up fast before long.
London Metal Exchange in legal hot water
The LME is being sued for $456 million by the US hedge fund Elliott Management after it stopped trading nickel following a dramatic spike in the metal’s price. Nickel prices more than doubled in just a few hours in early March. A spokesman for the hedge fund said the Exchange acted “unreasonably and irrationally in particular by taking into account irrelevant factors, including its own financial position”. The LME, which is the world’s first and biggest industrial metals market, said it took action to protect the market because trading ‘became disorderly’, therefore no longer fair for everyone who wanted to join in.
US school metal detector gun fail
Metal detectors are frequently fitted in US schools to help keep kids safe. They should be sophisticated enough to pick up guns and knives, but in one case they’ve failed. In Chicago, a 15 year old boy managed to bring a gun into his high school despite the metal detectors. The school plans to increase security, add more cameras, and employ more security staff. The incident would cause a media storm and a public outcry here in the UK but the school Principal simply called it ‘concerning’.
Are more aluminium smelter cuts on the way?
European energy prices are going up. They’re due to soar even higher this autumn. It’s leading to concerns about aluminium production across the continent, with more companies in the sector considering extra smelter cuts. Industrial action in the EU, Russia’s war on Ukraine, strikes at TotalEnergie, together they’re squeezing aluminium profit margins until they squeak. The USA’s biggest primary aluminium producer, Century Aluminium, is closing one of its smelters for as long as a year. You can read the full story behind the current aluminium price crisis here.
UK government hangs onto steel import tariffs
Tariffs on steel imports from China and other nations will be extended for another two years, even though they admit it risks breaching World Trade Organisation rules. The move is causing ethical concerns at home and abroad. It looks like Ukrainian steel will be exempt from the tariffs.
Keeping on keeping on…
Our aluminium plate suppliers world is still turning. We’re still selling metals, including popular 6082 aluminium plate, quality 5083 aluminium plate, and aluminium 2014. We’re still trusted brass sheet suppliers and carbon steel suppliers. Our customers keep on coming. Can we help you with quality, varied metal supplies supported by great service and considerable expertise?
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