Automotive MMI®: US Materials Industries Not Keeping Up

As the Washington, DC, Auto Show begins, materials suppliers, original equipment manufacturers and auto executives are descending on Washington not just to show off their wares, but lobby congress to help their industries.

See why our Auto MMI® is a leading indicator: download the Monthly MMI® Report.

Hal Quinn, president and CEO of the National Mining Association wrote in the Hill today that due to an inefficient domestic mine permitting process, the US remains more than 50% import-dependent on 40 key mineral commodities — including copper and zinc, which make up electric parts, and platinum and palladium, key ingredients in catalytic converters — according to the US Geological Survey. As the process stands, it can take seven to 10 years for a new mine to be approved in the United States — compared to countries like Canada and Australia, where mines have comparable environmental regulations, but the permitting process takes just two to three years on average. If the United States is to remain economically competitive, this domestic minerals policy must change.

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Automotive MMI® was the copper cash price, which saw a 4.8% decline on the LME to $5,630 per metric ton. Last week marked the fourth in a row of declining prices for the metal. The 3-month price of copper fell 4.0% on the LME over the past week to $5,600 per metric ton. This was the third week in a row of declining prices. The price of Chinese lead rose 2.4% to CNY 12,700 ($2,045) per metric ton after falling 2.0% during the previous week. Korean 5052 coil premium over 1050 sheet prices held steady from the previous week at KRW 4,490 ($4.16) per kilogram.

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The price of US HDG fell 0.1% over the past week to $724.00 per short ton. This was the third week in a row of declining prices.

The price of US platinum bar rose 3.6% over the past week to $1,269 per ounce. This was the fourth week in a row of increasing prices. For the third week in a row, the price of US palladium bar dropped, falling 1.2% to $765.00 per ounce.

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The Automotive MMI® collects and weights 7 metal price points used in automotive production to provide a unique view into automotive metal trends. 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.

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