Caterpillar Still Solid Bellwether For Copper Markets, Monthly Price Index

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copper price index

The monthly Copper MMI® registered a value of 93 in April, a decrease of 3.1 percent from 96 in March.

today's metal prices - MetalMiner IndXThe monthly copper index fell three points to 93, marking a two-month trend. All of the elements that comprise the index fell, including price points from multiple geographies (e.g. China, India, Korea and the US).

“The year-ago Copper MMI® reading of 110 marks a big difference in sentiment, as well as overall manufacturing activity,” said Lisa Reisman, managing editor of MetalMiner. “This month we had a couple of big drags on the copper index reading, including slowing manufacturing activity both in China and the US and some supply glut concerns.”

The only piece of good news that appears to support copper prices involves construction spending.

We note however, that Caterpillar, often a leading bellwether for industrial activity, downsized back in October of last year. Coincidentally, the Copper MMI® (sitting at 100 at that time) has slid since, but had remained in the upper 90s until this month’s reading.

Price Drivers of Copper Index Drop

A 3.9 percent drop over the past month hit Chinese bright copper scrap. After falling 3.8 percent, the Chinese copper cash price finished the month down as well. A 3.8 percent decline for Chinese copper wire left the price down.

On the LME, the 3-month price of copper closed the month at $7,613 per metric ton after dropping 3.2 percent. Following a 3.2 percent decline, the cash price of primary copper reached $7,582 per metric ton on the LME.

The price of US copper producer grade 110 fell 3.1 percent. The price of US copper producer grade 102 also ended the month with a drop.

Korean copper strip held pat last month. Last month was consistent for the cash price of primary Japanese copper as well.

The Copper MMI® collects and weights 12 global copper metal price points to provide a unique view into copper price trends over a 30-day period. For more information on the Copper MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.