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The monthly Global Precious Metals MMI® registered a value of 88 in January, a decrease of 2.2 percent from 90 in December, matching the index’s lowest reading of all time (first reached in July 2013).

Plummeting gold bullion prices in the US and China, along with a dip in the US silver price, nearly single-handedly drove the monthly index down. However, palladium prices in the US and Japan dropped as well – a two-month trend.

Compare with last month’s trends – here’s our free December MMI® Report.

Palladium Outlook

Although US and Japan prices on the MetalMiner IndX℠ have fallen the past two months, most analysts and market commentators agree that palladium is looking likely for a price rise in 2014. Much of this is due to supply-side concerns in South Africa and, especially, Russia.

Russia’s famed palladium stockpile looks to finally be dwindling. According to Johnson Matthey, Russia’s 2012 stockpile sales came in at just 250,000 ounces, down from 775,000 in 2011. This year, the firm believes it could be just 95,000 ounces.

For now, steady industrial demand (driven by catalytic converters in gas-powered cars) and the threat of supply disruption continue to have the upper hand and suggest there is more potential on the upside than the down.

A Tough Year for Gold

Obviously the gold story this year was a sad one, prompting certain folks to posit whether bitcoin will overtake the yellow metal as a store of value. Indeed, according to a recent note from ETF Securities, gold ETP assets under management dropped to $76 billion from $147 billion at the start of the year.

However, gold ETP outflows peaked in 2Q 2013, and if gold’s activity at the close of 2013 is any indication, is the market looking up? Prices hit a two-week high today and are headed for the best weekly performance since October – but according to Chen Min, an analyst at Jinrui Futures in Shenzhen quoted by Reuters, “it won’t continue for the remainder of the year as the (Fed) tapering is set to begin and the global economy is improving.”

Key Drivers of the Precious Metals Index

The price of Indian gold bullion fell 8.5 percent to $446.27 per 10 grams. US gold bullion prices dropped by 3.3 percent this month to $1,197 per ounce. Chinese gold bullion prices decreased by 2.1 percent this month, ending at $39.73 per gram. Japanese palladium bar fell 1.5 percent to $22.23 per gram. At $706.00 per ounce, US palladium bar was down 1.4 percent for the month. Last month, Chinese silver prices dropped by 1.0 percent to $672.69 per kilogram. The value of Chinese palladium bar weakened by 0.6 percent this month, settling at $26.11 per gram. US silver closed the month at $19.57 per ounce after dropping 0.5 percent.

The price of Japanese silver jumped 3.2 percent last month to $6.34 per 10 grams. Japanese platinum bar prices inched up 1.8 percent to $43.61 per gram. After a 0.4 percent increase, US platinum bar finished the month at $1,357 per ounce. Finishing the month at $756.43 per kilogram, Indian silver recorded a 0.4 percent increase. Japanese gold bullion rose 0.2 percent to $38.88 per gram.

Chinese platinum bar held pat last month at $47.60 per gram.

The Global Precious Metals MMI® collects and weights 14 global precious metal price points to provide a unique view into precious metal price trends over a 30-day period. For more information on the Global Precious Metals MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

US palladium bar saw the biggest price decline of the day, dropping 3.5 percent to close at $734.00 per ounce on March 20, 2013. The price of Chinese palladium bar fell 1.7 percent to CNY 173.00 ($27.84) per gram. Japanese palladium bar held its value yesterday at JPY 2,386 ($25.10) per gram.

Chinese platinum bar closed 1.8 percent lower at CNY 330.00 ($53.10) per gram. US platinum bar prices saw a 1.4 percent decline to $1,553 per ounce. The price of Japanese platinum bar remained steady at JPY 4,850 ($51.02) per gram.

At $1,613, the price of US gold bullion finished the market day up 0.4 percent per ounce. Indian gold bullion gained 0.3 percent to finish at INR 29,754 ($546.90) per 10 grams. Chinese gold bullion prices inched up 0.2 percent to CNY 322.78 ($51.94) per gram. The price of Japanese gold bullion remained essentially flat at JPY 4,924 ($51.79) per gram.

Indian silver saw its price rise 0.5 percent to INR 54,133 ($995.00) per kilogram. The price of Chinese silver showed little movement yesterday at CNY 5,915 ($951.86) per kilogram. US silver saw little change in its price yesterday at $28.91 per ounce. At JPY 881.00 ($9.27) per 10 grams, the price of Japanese silver was essentially unchanged.

 With a 0.4 percent increase over the past day, the 3-month price of aluminum was the biggest mover on the LME, closing at $1,946 per metric ton on March 20, 2013. On the LME, the primary aluminum cash price inched up 0.4 percent to $1,902 per metric ton. At INR 103.60 ($1.90), the Indian aluminum cash price finished the market day up 0.3 percent per kilogram.

Chinese aluminum closed mixed on Wednesday. After a 0.1 percent increase, the cash price of Chinese aluminum finished the day at CNY 14,520 ($2,337) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap continues hovering around CNY 11,625 ($1,871) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. Chinese aluminum billet stayed flat at around CNY 14,400 ($2,317) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese aluminum bar held flat at CNY 14,050 ($2,261) per metric ton.

 The Indian nickel cash price saw a 0.9 percent increase on March 20, 2013, reaching INR 909.30 ($16.71) per kilogram and making it the biggest mover for the day. After a 0.3 percent increase, the spot price of nickel finished the day on the LME at $16,605 per metric ton. At $16,655, the nickel 3-month price finished the market day on the LME up 0.2 percent per metric ton.

Chinese stainless steel prices were mixed for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome continues hovering around CNY 8,300 ($1,336) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. The price of Chinese ferro-moly was unchanged at CNY 145,000 ($23,334) per metric ton.

The price of Chinese primary nickel saw a 0.5 percent decline to CNY 116,400 ($18,731) per metric ton. Chinese 316 stainless coil held its value yesterday at CNY 26,700 ($4,297) per metric ton. Chinese 304 stainless coil stayed flat at around CNY 17,800 ($2,864) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap held flat at CNY 16,100 ($2,591) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap showed little movement on Wednesday at CNY 17,800 ($2,864) per metric ton.

 The copper 3-month price saw the biggest decline of the day, dropping 0.7 percent on the LME to close at $7,537 per metric ton on March 20, 2013. Also on the LME, the cash price of primary copper rose 0.2 percent to $7,568 per metric ton.

The price of US copper producer grade 122 saw a 0.5 percent decline to $4.03 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 110 weakened by 0.5 percent, settling at $4.03 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 102 declined 0.5 percent to $4.22 per pound. The cash price of primary Japanese copper remained essentially flat at JPY 640,000 ($6,732) per metric ton.

Chinese copper closed mixed on Wednesday. The price of Chinese copper bar rose 0.2 percent to CNY 56,500 ($9,092) per metric ton after a two-day drop. Following a 0.2 percent rise yesterday, the cash price of Chinese copper closed at CNY 56,700 ($9,124) per metric ton. After a couple of days of decreasing prices, the price of Chinese copper wire held steady at CNY 55,550 ($8,939). For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese bright copper scrap held flat at CNY 46,850 ($7,539) per metric ton.

The day’s biggest mover was the cash price of primary aluminum which dropped by 2.5 percent on March 19, 2013 to close at $1,895 per metric ton on the LME. The aluminum 3-month price saw a 2.3 percent decline on the LME to $1,938 per metric ton. Following a two-day drop, the cash price of primary Indian aluminum increased by 0.3 percent to INR 103.25 ($1.91) per kilogram.

Chinese aluminum prices were flat for the day. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap saw little movement at CNY 11,625 ($1,871) per metric ton. Chinese aluminum billet stayed flat at around CNY 14,400 ($2,317) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum bar saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 14,050 ($2,261) per metric ton. The Chinese aluminum cash price saw little movement yesterday, closing out around CNY 14,500 ($2,333) per metric ton.

With a decline of 2.9 percent on the LME to $7,555 per metric ton on March 19, 2013, the copper cash price recorded the biggest decline of the day. Also on the LME, the 3-month price of copper fell 2.8 percent to $7,590 per metric ton.

The price of US copper producer grade 122 declined 2.2 percent to $4.05 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 110 fell 2.2 percent to $4.05 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 102 saw a 2.1 percent decline to $4.24 per pound. The Japanese copper cash price was unchanged at JPY 640,000 ($6,712) per metric ton.

Chinese copper closed mixed on Tuesday. At CNY 56,400 ($9,076) per metric ton, Chinese copper bar fell 0.2 percent yesterday. The cash price of Chinese copper declined 0.2 percent to CNY 56,600 ($9,108) per metric ton. Chinese copper wire finished the day down 0.1 percent to CNY 55,530 ($8,936) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese bright copper scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 46,850 ($7,539) per metric ton.

The steel billet cash price saw a 10.9 percent drop on the LME on March 19, 2013, landing at $205.00 per metric ton and making it the biggest mover of the day. The steel billet 3-month price fell 8.0 percent to $230.00 per metric ton yesterday on the LME after two days of no change.

Chinese steel prices were mixed for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($135.17) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($133.56) per dry metric ton. After a 1.8 percent increase, the price of Chinese HRC finished the day at CNY 3,940 ($634.01) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal was unchanged at CNY 1,750 ($281.60) per metric ton.

The US HRC futures contract 3-month price weakened by 0.8 percent, settling at $620.00 per short ton. Following a quiet couple of days, the US HRC futures contract spot price fell 0.2 percent on Tuesday to $609.00 per short ton.

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Construction MMI® was the Chinese low price of 62% Australian iron ore fines, which saw a 4.9 percent decline to CNY 1,060 ($170.57) per dry metric ton. This week marked the third in a row of declining prices for the metal. Chinese H-beam steel fell 2.1 percent over the past week to CNY 3,800 ($611.48) per metric ton. The price of Chinese rebar fell 1.1 percent over the past week to CNY 3,620 ($582.52) per metric ton. This was the third week in a row of declining prices. US shredded scrap saw its price rise 1.0 percent over the past week to $403.00 per short ton.

At CNY 14,050 ($2,261) per metric ton, the price of Chinese aluminum bar did not change since the previous week. European 1050 aluminum traded sideways last week, hovering around EUR 2,215 ($2,886) per metric ton.

Since last week, the price of the weekly US Midwest bar fuel surcharge fell to $0.56 per mile after moving 1.7 percent. Following a 0.5 percent increase in the week prior, the weekly US Rocky Mountain bar fuel surcharge fell 1.4 percent last week to $0.55 per mile. For the third week in a row, the weekly US Gulf Coast bar fuel surcharge dropped, falling 1.0 percent to $0.56 per mile.

The Construction MMI® collects and weights 9 metal price points used within the construction industry to provide a unique view into construction industry price trends. For more information on the Construction MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

Decreasing 2.2 percent made Chinese palladium bar the biggest mover of the day, finishing at CNY 176.00 ($28.32) per gram on March 19, 2013. After improving for two days, the price of US palladium bar declined 1.6 percent to $761.00 per ounce. At JPY 2,386 ($25.02) per gram, the price of Japanese palladium bar was essentially unchanged.

At JPY 4,850 ($50.86), the price of Japanese platinum bar finished the market day up 1.2 percent per gram. At $1,575 per ounce, US platinum bar fell 0.9 percent yesterday. The price of Chinese platinum bar declined 0.6 percent to CNY 336.00 ($54.07) per gram.

Japanese gold bullion gained 1.6 percent to finish at JPY 4,924 ($51.64) per gram. US gold bullion prices rose 0.8 percent to $1,606 per ounce. After a 0.5 percent increase, Indian gold bullion finished the day at INR 29,651 ($547.27) per 10 grams. The price of Chinese gold bullion increased 0.4 percent to CNY 322.00 ($51.81) per gram.

Indian silver finished the day up 1.9 percent to INR 53,885 ($994.56) per kilogram. The price of US silver is back up, rising by 0.5 percent yesterday to close at $28.90 per ounce. Chinese silver prices inched up 0.3 percent to CNY 5,910 ($951.01) per kilogram. Japanese silver saw its price rise 0.2 percent to JPY 881.00 ($9.24) per 10 grams.

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