Select Page

Metal prices – The latest news

Its 2016 and metal prices are making the news. So, what is going on in the world of metal supply right now?

Metal prices – The latest news

Its 2016 and metal prices are making the news. So, what is going on in the world of metal supply right now?

Here’s the latest news about the price and availability of Aluminium and Steel, plus Copper and Zinc, the ingredients of Brass.

As you’ll see, it’s clear that the globalised economy is affecting metal prices and supply more profoundly than ever, and it is a trend that’s set to continue as the world’s economies steadily become more interdependent.

Metal prices, availability and trends – Aluminium.

Many market experts feel demand for aluminium is set to grow through 2016. Stricter CO2 emmissions targets mean some even predict double-digit growth for Aluminium Body Sheet throughout the next five years.

At the same time there are some exciting new low-emissions vehicle manufature technologies on the way, investment in which is set to boom over the next half decade. This new investment could help cut the cost of the metal further, narrowing the gap between it and high strength steel even more.

Demand for aluminium automotive body sheet is already growing rapidly and has been doing so for the past two years, triggered by changing emissions targets. At the same time the trend for using more ABS has driven plenty of fresh investment in output and automotive capacity.

Metal prices, availability and trends – Steel.

The gloom continues as the global price of steel, and demand for it, keeps on sliding. It’s happening even though there’s a growing demand driven by investment in Chinese infrastructure and rugged underlying demand in the US and Europe. Despite this, oversupply is still the name of the game.

Right now the price of steel is remarkably low, and the strong underlying demand isn’t feeding through to local producers. As a result they’ve started announcing closures.

Add ongoing uncertainty about the global economy and the point we sit at, at the end of the commodity cycle, and demand is almost universally down. The weakening Chinese economy doesn’t help, making markets jittery, and it’s affecting both the non-residential construction sector and manufacturing industries.

Experts predict the weakness of the steel market will affect Asia and other commodity exporting regions in particular, since they rely more than most nations on continuing economic growth in China.

Metal prices, availability and trends – Brass.

Brass is made from an alloy of copper and zinc. Zinc is brilliant at improving the life and performance of steel, and it’s highly effective – and cost effective – when used to protect steel against corrosion. The global market for zinc is currently growing steadily, and experts expect more of the same over the next few years.

The growth in the market comes from industrialised countries, who want to build bigger and more resilient structures, harnessing galvanized steel or coating structures with zinc. The metal is also ideal for the dry cell batteries found in hearing aids, watches, calculators and a host of innovative military and aeronautical applications.

The worldwide zinc mining industry is expected to grow and grow, with China currently the biggest miner of the metal. On the other hand China’s famously dreadful air pollution problems may suppress zinc mining in its current guise, until a solution can be found.

How about copper, the other metal used to make brass? Some say the deep decline in copper prices we’ve seen over the past few years is due to reverse, others say it’s set to continue.

Looking at the last 115 years of copper mining stats, Mary Poulton, the Director of the Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources, says copper prices tend to nosedive for around 2.4 consecutive years before rising again, then rise for a couple of years before falling back again.

On the other hand a mining economist from the Colorado School of Mines says he isn’t optimistic, and his feelings are supported by a pessimistic report by investment bankers Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. Add investors Morgan Stanley Investment Management to the list of nay-sayers and the outlook for copper doesn’t look so good.

China consumes as much as 45% of the planet’s copper, and some say the slowing of its economy hints at worse to come for an already beleaguered copper market. On the other hand reports in early 2016 hint that copper and brass prices seem to be edging up with a small boost in demand.

It’s a currency thing

Demand and supply are one thing. Fluctuating exchange rates are another, and right now they’re not helping. Exchange rate fluctuations account for prices on anything purchased abroad increasing by 9% since mid December 2015.

More about the impact of fluctuating exchange rates on metal prices next time…

Come back next time for another metal supplies and pricing run-down from Metalex, your premium metal suppliers.

Metal Prices Image Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Please complete the enquiry form located on this page, call +44 (0) 330 223 2653 or email us to discover how Metalex could be supplying you with premium metal products and professional metal processing services.


The state of British steel, metal asteroids, LME chaos and more

Welcome to 2023, which is already looking turbulent.  The nation’s steel industry is still in a state of perma-crisis, there’s trouble brewing at the London Metals Exchange, and people are doing crazy things with dangerous loads of metal. But we’re keeping calm and...

High-polluting US aluminium, Cumbria coal mine lies, good recycling news

In a week where the USA’s ageing aluminium plants have been slammed for emitting more PFCs per ton of the metal than other countries, there’s plenty of metals supply news to showcase.In a week where the USA’s ageing aluminium plants have been slammed for emitting more...

Aluminium supply special – Anti-dumping issues, bankruptcy and more

2014 aluminium round bar, 6082 aluminium square bar, 7075 aluminium plate and more... we’re still selling it, and our customers are keen to buy it. But there’s trouble in the world’s aluminium supply sector. In our aluminium supply special we’ll take a look at a...

Russia metal supply headaches, seaweed batteries, eye-watering steel prices

It’s interesting to see two tricky problems hitting the metals supply world particularly hard. Russia’s war on Ukraine is having unexpected consequences for steel and aluminium, and tough climate change goals are shaping the future of metals as well as the products...

Rusal scandal, radiation-proof aluminium alloy, amazing batteries

There’s a scandal erupting over Rusal and the LME; new aluminium alloy brings space travel a tad closer; batteries are about to be taken to an exciting new place; aluminium is finding its way into drinking water and there's more trouble for UK steel. It’s all go as...

Aluminium special – Rusal threats, raw aluminium market fears and more

To say it’s up and down in the world of aluminium at the moment may be a little bit of an understatement. The energy crisis is affecting supply and demand in surprising ways; Rusal are driving uncertainty about uncertainty; Raw Aluminium orders are down in the US;...

It’s madness in the world of metal supply – But we’ve got your back!

The energy price crisis, Russia’s war on Ukraine, a looming shortage of crucial metals... it’s all go out there. As trusted metal supplies experts, we’re weathering the storm. Whatever happens we’ll bring all of our considerable expertise into play to source the metal...

Smelters shut up shop, Novelis refuses Russian aluminium & Honda secures metals supply.

The war in Ukraine carries on, the economy is tanking, energy prices are rocketing and we’re headed for an almighty recession but what’s happening in the world of metal supply? Let’s explore some stories about metal innovation and discovery and the latest metals news,...

Asteroid fail, copper-jawed mini monster, lithium-ion gets a boost

Japan bombed an asteroid... and nothing happened. Old-school copper wiring is enjoying a speed boost thanks to cool science. Copper-rich bloodworm jaws build themselves, and the process is completely amazing. Plus - electric car charging might be about to become a lot...

Robots inside you, sensitive robotic hand, fibre-optic spying and more

As aluminium suppliers we’re always interested to hear weird science stories about the metal. As popular steel suppliers in the UK, we like tall steel tales just as much. As the summer holidays rumble on, we’ve discovered a bunch of fascinating metal-inspired stories...

Accreditations & Associations

Aluminium Stockholders Association

Quick Enquiry

Leave this field blank

0330 223 2653