Bizarro Week! Copper’s Up, Nickel’s (Sort of) Down; Welcome to Opposite World!

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This week in metals commodities, the world turned upside down. Copper, which has lost more than 10% of its value this year, was up, up to an 11-week high at that. Nickel, which has soared more than 20% this year, was down, if only momentarily.

This got us at MetalMiner thinking about opposites. What does the price of precious metals such as gold have to do with the price of minor metals such as tin? And how can we successfully forecast investments and procurement of both?

Don’t miss this free download of our Monthly MMI® Report, covering price trends in 10 metals markets.

We are saying Bad-Hello! (goodbye to Superman’s opposite, Bizarro) to nuance and shading and are looking back at the last two weeks in stark terms of black and white, up and down, left and… you get it. Perhaps we can even watch a Nicaragua Badding, Sr., movie.

Regulation vs. Supply Management

Left! No! Right! Welcome to opposite week!

Left! No! Right! Welcome to opposite week!

Bridging the gap between today’s regulatory environment and the supply management function can make it seem like opposite day is every day for procurement and metals purchasing professionals. What should the role of procurement in quantifying cost/benefit impacts of various regulations on the business? What should the role of procurement be in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)-related supply chain decisions? All this and more is explained in The Impact of Regulatory Issues on the Future of Supply Chain Management, our white paper that was so well-received at this year’s Institute of Supply Management conference. Download the report to make your opposites attract!

Imports: Sugar and Steel
Okay, it’s not guns and butter, but in our never-ending quest to explain the nuances of import duties and tariffs to both importers and exporters we ran into a common comparison that ALWAYS claims steel and sugar represent the two most politically favored sectors of the US economy and both have filed anti-dumping cases against Mexican producers. That’s where the similarities end.

They’re actually as opposite as Bizarro and Superman. We import steel from everywhere in the world. The US sugar market is tightly regulated to protect domestic producers and you literally can’t buy anything but US sugar produced from cane in Florida and high-fructose corn syrup (yuck) from the Midwest. The US price for sugar is FAR different than the world price, yet our price for steel is based on exchange-traded rates and duties are only imposed on nations that illegally dump product here.

To get other supplies you’d have to go up to Canada and buy a pound like it was a Cohiba. MetalMiner Executive Editor Lisa Reisman further explains the opposites that sugar and steel (not spice) are in Domestic Steel Rebar and Mexican Imports: That’s Our Jam.

Conflict Minerals Rules and Compliance

Complying with new SEC conflict minerals rule should not be the opposite of sanity, but it can sometimes seem that way. Luckily, Managing Editor Taras Berezowsky was able to speak with Sonal Sinha, Associate Vice President of Industry Solutions for MetricStream, to try and shed some more light on filing by the Monday deadline.

So, we bid you Badhello! and wish you a very, very BAD weekend and BAD week ahead here at MetalMiner!

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