Spring is a time of renewal and nothing could use a good rebound more than our metal markets.
While most of the metals are still down for the year, some of them actually rallied this month and showed positive growth, some for the first time in 2015.
The Aluminum MMI® remains a standout, reflecting strong fundamentals and stronger industrial demand from the automotive and aerospace industries than our other base metals. Its relatively modest 1.1% rise this month shows what a difficult environment base metals are facing.
Proof that the markets remain turbulent and highly unpredictable is offered in our Global Precious Metals MMI®, where previously strong palladium, coveted for its use in automotive exhaust systems as well by investors fleeing weak overseas currencies, actually fell this month showing that even the best performing precious metals are struggling against a strong US dollar and weak demand.
Low demand touched most of our metals this month, but the Stainless MMI took the biggest hit as the entire 2014 stainless/nickel rally has now been erased and the demand picture from China has eroded so much that it’s difficult to predict a recovery without new demand sprouting up from somewhere else.
If the Federal Reserve acts on interest rates soon and provides inflation relief to manufacturers and exporters many of these prices could rapidly turn upward and this month’s price trends are proof that, while demand could be stronger, it’s still a great time to be a metals buyer.