US Manufacturing Up, China Weak Before Current Metal Price Index Releases

MetalMiner is leveraging current metal price data once again in the latest iteration of the Monthly MMI reports.

Be on the lookout later today and all week for the October MMIs, including updated trends and commentary on base metals (aluminum, copper), ferrous metals (steel, stainless), rare earths, and PGMs — not to mention on automotive, renewable energy and construction industries.

As a backdrop, we’ve seen mixed signals in the economic and manufacturing spheres.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) released the latest PMI data yesterday, which stands at a reading of 51.5 percent – a return to expansion after contracting for three months.

Also, as summed up by Bloomberg, “the ISM’s new orders measure rose to a four-month high of 52.3 from 47.1. The employment index advanced to 54.7 from an almost three-year low of 51.6 the prior month. The gain from August was the biggest since October 2009. The group’s measures of production, export demand, prices paid and order backlogs also climbed in September.”

Interestingly, however, commodities reported by manufacturers to be down in price were aluminum, nickel, stainless steel, steel and steel products. While good for buyers, this may not be a good sign of global demand.

Case in point: in China, “manufacturing contracted for an 11th straight month, increasing pressure on the government to bolster growth in the world’s second-largest economy,” Bloomberg reported. “The purchasing managers’ index from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics was at 47.9 last month, compared with 47.6 in August. Export orders declined at the fastest pace in 42 months and factory purchasing activity fell for a fifth consecutive month, the Sept. 29 report showed.”

So stay with MetalMiner as we take a trip through nine MMIs — providing a comprehensive look at global metals market price trends.

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