The monthly Automotive MMI® registered a value of 95 in May, a decrease of 2.1 percent from 97 in April. The most chaotic metal movers over the last month have been platinum and palladium, metals used in automotive catalytic converters. Renewed tensions in Russia, a top producer of platinum, over Ukraine and a South African Miners’ Strike have colluded to make platinum’s movements on the LME difficult to predict.
US automakers are also aggressively investigating how to make their fleets lighter for 2015 to meet more stringent Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. These efforts included a visit to Range Rover’s all-aluminum-body production facility in Solihull, England. While Ford has already committed to building an aluminum F150 pickup truck, and possibly some all-aluminum SUVs, other automakers are still wrestling with the decision between aluminum and lightweight, nanosteel alloys.
The price of steel continued its mostly flat course of the past few months, which could mean an easier road to profitability for automakers down the road.
A 10.8 percent decline for Korean 5052 coil premium over 1050 sheet left the price at KRW 3,890 ($3.76) per kilogram.
After rising 4.3 percent, US palladium bar finished the month at $807.00 per ounce. The price of US HDG rose 3.2 percent over the past month to $773.00 per short ton, the second straight month of gains. After dropping the previous month, the price of Chinese lead prices rose 1.5 percent to $2,221 per metric ton. The 3-month price of copper rose 0.9 percent on the LME to $6,710 per metric ton after falling the previous month. After dropping the previous month, the primary copper cash price prices rose 0.9 percent on the LME to $6,723 per metric ton. The price of US platinum bar rose 0.5 percent to $1,420 per ounce after falling the previous month.
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.