Here at MetalMiner, we do a LOT of analysis. We chart, we graph and we compare market data 24/7. Whether it’s levels of aluminum in storage sheds, major producers’ stock prices correlated to metal prices, currency values, or — our favorite — forecasting future performance, we make a lot of charts and graphs.
After culling all of this data for evidence of trends, supply and demand effects and other pricing information over long hours at the office… well, you start to see things. Every chart starts to look like something you’ve seen before. It reminds you of your trip to Breckenridge and the beautiful art of that genius who paints trail maps. Or the configuration of your favorite subway line. The Monthly MMI looks like this one… after starting at it for too long, of course. We call this phenomenon graphmind and graphmind was on full display this week while I prepared the Monthly MMI.
Here are some of the things our charts look like when you’ve looked at them for too long.
The Raw Steels Market/Florida’s Gulf Coast
When you think of Florida do visions of the beach, orange juice, Spring Break and visiting your Nana jump into in your head?
Not us. We think of the raw steels market. We’re really hoping the market doesn’t reach Marco Island, too.
If there’s a price spike that can get us from Key Largo to Del Ray Beach the seller market will take it.
Descending Mt. Stainless Steel
There is no better pricing game than Cliff Hangers on “The Price is Right.” The yodeling, the little mountaineer wearing lederhosen, the horrible crash that befalls so many overbidders, the suspense of how high he’ll go? It’s all a great metaphor for those construction estimators and procurement professionals who don’t listen to our forecasts and pay too much in down markets when prices will fall further. That and it’s hard not to love “The Price is Right.”
After last year’s meteoric rise, our Stainless MMI is looking a lot like Mt. Kilimanjaro these days. Unfortunately, our little mountaineer is on the overbid side of the equation. There’s a cautionary tale about hubris here somewhere.
A Streetcar Named Dollar
Our Lead Forecasting Analyst, Raul De Frutos, religiously follows the movements of the US dollar, the Euro and other currencies and contributes excellent insight into what these movements mean for the metal markets. Graphmind can attack at any moment, though, and this chart of the dollar index vs. the Euro kept reminding him of something.
If you turn this on its side this graph looks exactly like…
Nob Hill in San Francisco! Nobody expects graphmind.