Top 2 Factors Driving Industrial Base Metal Prices Down

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We believe 2 main factors are responsible for pushing aluminum, copper, zinc and nickel prices lower.

Factor #1: The Dollar

We began exploring this factor in Part One here.

The following graph proves the inverse relationship between the dollar (represented by the green line; coincidentally, also the name of the Goose Island beer only available within Chicago city limits) and copper (represented by the orange line; coincidentally, the CTA line that gets you to Midway airport) over the past 15 years.

The white arrows indicate the major tops and bottoms. The collapse in the dollar during 2002 was the main reason that commodities climbed sharply. The dollar bottom in 2008 coincided with the collapse in commodity prices, which then rose until 2011 as the dollar kept falling. Finally, the dollar bottomed in 2011 and it has been rising since then.

copper-v-dollar chart

Created using

The red arrows show how this uptrend in the dollar since spring of 2011 is pushing commodities lower. The direction of the dollar will play a major role in the upcoming trends of metal prices. Regardless of the specific fundamentals underlying your metal, it is hard to picture its price way above current levels until we see the dollar changing direction.

Find out more about MetalMiner’s price forecasting capability to help your metal sourcing efforts.

What’s the second factor?