Based on US auto sales and rising metal prices, MetalMiner’s monthly index rose in August – but let’s not read too much into it.
The monthly Automotive MMI® increased by two points from 94 to 96 this past month, an increase of 2.1 percent from 94 in July, largely due to better-performing precious metals prices (particularly platinum and palladium as compared to one month ago) and ever so slightly better-supported semi-finished aluminum prices, particularly out of Korea.
“We wouldn’t read too much into this upward price movement because most of the MMI series improved this past month,” said Lisa Reisman, managing editor of MetalMiner.
“Despite continued good news regarding automotive sales numbers, the underlying economics do create a little angst, particularly when one examines both rising automobile inventory levels and increasing dealer incentives,” Reisman continued.
Though others may disagree with our viewpoint on how to interpret our metals price index for the car market, the MMI remains supported, even if it’s still under its 100 baseline level – it remains a top-performing metals market segment. According to a recent statement from TrueCar.com, “incentives are up almost eight percent in July as the summer sell-down season begins, dealers have more vehicles to clear out from lots than last year.”
We are looking for a three-month trend to help determine the overall price direction for metals feeding the automotive industry.
Which Metals Prices Drove the Auto Market Index?
After dropping the previous month, the price of US palladium bar prices rose 10.3 percent.
The price of US platinum bar rose 7.2 percent after falling the previous month. On the LME, the primary copper cash price grew 0.7 percent to finish at $6,800 per metric ton. For the second month in a row, the price of US HDG increased, rising 0.5 percent over the past month. The copper 3-month price inched up 0.5 percent on the LME to $6,809 per metric ton.
The price of Korean 5052 coil premium over 1050 sheet held steady. The Chinese lead price remained relatively unchanged.
The Automotive MMI® collects and weights 7 metal price points used in automotive production to provide a unique view into automotive metal trends over a 30-day period. For more information on the Automotive MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.