Week in Review: Chaotic Metal Prices Set Up Summer of Our Discontent

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As the commodity metals markets hurtle toward summer, traders and producers’ interests both turn toward predictions, yet uncertainty and price chaos are characteristically clouding the picture.

FREE Download: The Monthly MMI® Report – price trends for 10 metal markets.

Will aluminum achieve that magical balance between supply and demand later this year? UC Rusal thinks so.

Can nickel continue to scale new price heights due to the Indonesian ore ban and uncertainty surrounding Russia’s Norilsk Nickel? Or has the market already begun correcting its artificially high price? MetalMiner Editor-at-large Stuart Burns believes it can go higher. MetalMiner Lead Forecasting Analyst Raul De Frutos says bet on the bulls (not the bears), as well.

What about platinum and the now-four-month-long South African miners’ strike? Any end in sight? Ummm, no.

The MMI Is Good For What Ails Your Metals Strategy

May MMI over here, please!

May MMI over here, please!

In turbulent times like these, it can be comforting to turn to the Monthly MMI Report (May just came out this week!) to soothe the sore throat your metals purchasing strategy has been suffering with a minty lozenge of logic, reason and historical price information. A warm blanket of market-proven data, the MMI will have you feeling better about your sourcing strategy faster than Grandma’s chicken noodle soup.

How New Regulations Affect Procurement

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Hey, speaking of sourcing strategies, MetalMiner Executive Editor Lisa Reisman led a panel discussion entitled The Impact of Regulatory Issues on the Future of Supply Management at the Institute for Supply Management’s Annual Conference in Las Vegas. If you would like to learn how John Deere and Nucor deal with the regulatory red tape they regularly wade through, check out the report of the same name in the article.

Conflict Minerals Compliant? Good, Now Get FCPA Compliant

We also hosted an excellent series of guest posts by T. Markus Funk, a partner at law firm Perkins and Coie and co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Global Anti-Corruption Committee, who explained the Top 8 Guidelines to Make Mining Companies US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Compliant as they seek social permission to operate from overseas governments and local jurisdictions.

Back in the world of construction, demand picked up this week as the summer building season is finally getting into high gear in the East and I further examined the construction procurement and prefabrication puzzle that can be unlocked by 3D building project design.

That’s it for this week. Come back next week for more prices, sourcing strategies and the occasional former assistant US attorney.

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