Articles on: Metal Prices

Aluminum demand has remained remarkably robust over the last couple of years and the market is eagerly awaiting Alcoa’s quarterly update later today to see how sales have fared recently, not to mention the firm’s expectations for the rest of the year. The US market has been well supplied with ingot and although large quantities of primary metal have flowed directly from smelter into LME warehouse (particularly in Detroit), the US Midwest Ingot price has not been pricing in unholy physical premiums in the way European and Japanese destinations have at times.

Speculation has been raised as to whether the relatively healthy state of US aluminum demand and comparatively modest declines (20%) in the metal price relative to others like copper (30%) may encourage more US smelter capacity to come back on-stream. A recent Standard Bank note to investors suggested the US may need additional capacity as imports from Latin America, particularly Brazil, fall. Although the average cost of production in Brazil is one of the world’s lowest, according to Harbor Aluminum’s Jorge Vazquez, smaller non-hydro plants are still being closed and production is being hit. Latin America’s aluminum surplus fell from 1.2 million metric tons in 2009 to half that in 2010 and dropped by about another 50 percent to 355,000 metric tons in 2011, Vazquez is quoted as saying to Platts last month.

(Electrical) Power Play

Comparing the cost of electricity suggests a strong case for re-starting US capacity, according to Vazquez. North American electricity prices are said to be comparable with many other aluminum producing regions. The average cash cost to produce aluminum in North America is $1,900/metric ton, while in Western Europe it’s $2,048 and in China it is $2,594. Latin America has a low cost of $1,624, but its cheap energy prices were locked in “a long time ago” at $22/MWh and energy there today costs $149/MWh. Of the idled US smelters potentially able to come back on-stream, only Alcoa’s Tennessee plant has a cash cost estimated at $2,087/metric ton to be below the current LME price, and as Brazilian producers are finding, when cheap deals expire, the economics of production can change fast. As attractive as rates are in the US today, no producer is going to switch back on without a longer-term fixed power price deal.

Aluminum Market Outlook

Jorge Vazquez predicts a 500,000-ton global supply deficit this year, but not all analysts agree. Lloyd O’Carroll, senior vice president and equity analyst at Davenport & Co., sees a surplus of around 900,000 tons, according to the Platts article, while Paul Williams of CRU forecast that the world primary aluminum market will remain in a surplus of close to 800,000 tons this year. Even if we avoid a recession, Williams sees that surplus rising to more than 1 million tons in 2012, weighing against the chances of more US capacity being re-started. Looking at the current LME price, though, and the cost of production in China, one has to ask: how much Chinese production growth are we going to see when smelters are probably losing money over there? Jorge Vazquez may have a point.

Rarely have Alcoa’s quarterly statements been so eagerly awaited; we’ll be sure to update you on the details later this week.

–Stuart Burns

Just the other day, the New York Times reported that the remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) of Tampa, Fla.-based Odyssey Marine Exploration discovered 20 tons of silver on a shipwreck under the North Atlantic. In today’s silver prices (around $32 per ounce), that comes to roughly $18 million worth of the white metal.

The silver-laden shipwreck in question is the British vessel SS Mantola. In 1917, the German sub U-81 torpedoed the Mantola just off Ireland. The British government had apparently taken out an insurance policy on the equivalent of 600,000 ounces of silver contained on the ship, which in those days was worth 110,000 pounds Sterling, according to the company’s site.

The Mantola discovery comes on the heels of a previous Odyssey find. They noticed the 412-foot steel-hulled steamship SS Gairsoppa just a few weeks ago, 4,700 meters deep in the ocean and just 100 miles from the Mantola, and estimated 240 tons of silver to be held inside. Today, that silver is worth more than $200 million.

Judging by silver’s fundamentals, this surplus silver may be coming out of the water at the wrong time for silver’s spot market prices: Mineweb quoted Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities, as saying that due to a higher mining output forecast over the next two years and lower industrial demand, “silver will be in a growing surplus situation into 2013.

In all seriousness, however, Odyssey is getting a great deal. In a time when governments are hard up for funds, according to the Times, they contract with technologically savvy, private sea exploration firms to find and dredge up old treasures. Since Odyssey is doing the tough legwork, the British government worked out to allow Odyssey 80 percent of the salvaged spoils, while they keep 20 percent.

According to the company’s site, Odyssey chartered the Russian research vessel RV Yuzhmorgeologiya and used its low frequency sonar system, the MAK-1M, to find the shipwrecks themselves. Then, they went in with ROVs (anchored on a different boat, the Odyssey Explorer), for the visuals:

“Odyssey’s ROV inspections documented the poop deck port side entrance way to the Ëœcrew galley’ of the SS Mantola shipwreck.” Source of all photos: Odyssey Marine Exploration

The contents of the Mantola’s barrels remain “a mystery.”

The side-scan sonar tow fish that helped locate the wrecks.

–Taras Berezowsky

MetalMiner guest commentator Pia Marie A. Trellevik is a senior iron ore derivatives broker in the London office of FIS Ltd., the London-based global commodity interdealer brokerage firm.

A lot of the posts we’ve written over the past few months have covered very new futures markets within the steel complex that we believe have tremendous potential, even though their actual volumes remain low. Today we would like to highlight the one market in the “virtual steel mill that has been the true success story of the past few years — iron ore swaps and options.

The Evolution

Everything changed in 2009 when the mills and mines threw out their yearly price negotiations for physical iron ore sales and switched to a quarterly pricing mechanism. This seminal moment in the iron ore trade ushered in a new era of volatility in the physical iron ore market. With this volatility, uncertainty increased as well, driving both traders and mills to look for an alternative way to lock in their input costs. This is what has driven the development in the iron ore derivatives market. Just as we saw in the oil market of the 80s and 90s, when the long-term pricing mechanisms ceased, the market called for a solution and found it in derivatives. Nowadays, oil futures trade at a high multiple of the underlying commodity and while we are not quite there yet on iron ore futures, this year can surely be considered a watershed for the market.

The New Reality

2009 marked the first year for iron ore futures trading, with April — the first trading month — seeing 190,000 tons go through. Fast forward just two short years to May 2011 when 3.5 million tons of iron ore futures traded. 2009 saw a total of 7 million tons trading; 2010 volumes ramped up to 20.5 million tons; 2011 is shaping up to far exceed that amount. For the year to date, we stand at 28 million tons traded and are on target to exceed 40 million for the calendar year.

The iron ore market was as reluctant to change as the current various steel markets. But the iron ore market quickly adapted to this new paradigm and has educated itself and started to utilize these derivative contracts to help protect profit, hedge input costs and lock in forward periods, creating synthetic long-term deals that before were locked in during the yearly contract negotiations.

The current market is made up of all segments of the industry: mines, mills, traders, financial institutions. This robust dynamic has led to a price discovery marketplace that has shed light on an otherwise very opaque trade. Spot and forward iron ore pricing now is transparent and liquid, giving all participants the knowledge to make informed decisions. This allows price discovery to best reflect the market view on supply and demand. Of course, while the futures market can become disjointed from the fundamentals as happens in all derivatives markets from time to time, in the aggregate the market is better off for having such a robust futures market.

The indexes on which the settlement prices are based have become ingrained in the physical trade with more and more deals being concluded “index linked. This paradigm shift has changed the shape and nature of the global movement of iron ore. The futures and options market have given users yet another option to exploit for profit or utilize as a safe haven.

The developments in the iron ore derivatives market should be viewed as yet another example of how the changing nature of global commodity trading continues to evolve; providing the most efficient market in terms of transparent price discovery further levels the playing field for all involved in the industry.

–Pia Marie A. Trellevik

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this post are held exclusively by FIS Ltd., and may not necessarily be shared by MetalMiner.

A Financial Times article this week suggested that recent strength in the Baltic Dry Index, a measure of charter rates for bulk carriers, could suggest that fears of an Asian slowdown are overdone. The BDI has risen 52 percent over the last month or two, according to the FT, as China has continued to suck in unprecedented quantities of iron ore and coking coal. A recent Reuters article provides a useful graphic of how demand has continued to rise:

Source: Reuters

The FT explains the index is skewed towards the biggest Capesize ships, able to carry 175,000 tons or more at a time. The rise of the past two months has been almost entirely due to Capesize vessels. In part that is due to the recovery in Australian iron ore exports after the January floods damaged the country’s port infrastructure, but the other side of the coin is that the percentage rise is misleading.

After the 2008/9 crash, the market was awash with bulk carriers as new vessels continued to come on stream while existing vessels were laid up. So rates have dropped dramatically and are now rising from a low base, making percentage increases appear more dramatic than they really are.

Our own analysis of steel prices in China, most importantly measured in local RMB, do not tell such a compelling story.

Source: MetalMiner IndX

Prices have been on a slide since the summer, most notably in recent weeks, in spite of continued high iron ore and other raw material costs maintaining pressure on steel makers’ margins. The slide in prices seems highest among basic materials like billet and less pronounced in products like CR coil and sheet sold more on contract and less on the spot market.

Nevertheless, falling steel prices in conjunction with reports of slowing growth rather counter the suggestions of the Baltic Dry Index that growth is still robust at least in terms of recent years definition of robust. Track the MetalMiner Indx for local market prices in China if you have an interest in monitoring this deteriorating price scenario.

MetalMiner guest columnist Brad Clark is a senior derivatives broker who leads the St. Louis office of FIS Ltd., the London-based global commodity interdealer brokerage firm. Clark brokers physical and derivative deals on steel, iron ore, scrap and freight with a focus on the domestic US market. Arne Petter Kolderup, senior broker of coking coal for FIS Singapore, contributed to this week’s commentary.

A couple months back we wrote about how the launching of the coking coal swaps contract on the CME has completed the final link in the “virtual steel mill. This week FIS is excited to have been part of the first trade completed on this coking coal swap contract. The deal was for 9,000 metric tons of Platts Premium Low Volume coking coal for the Q1 2012 period, priced at $245 per metric ton, with clearing at CME.

In a very short time from this contract’s launch, it is already gaining attention and interest from a wide range of clients in both physical and financial markets. And it appears it couldn’t have come at a better time.

During a week when practically all financial and commodities markets took a beating on renewed fears that global growth is in jeopardy, this new risk management tool was put in place to help protect market participants from increased volatility in prices.

A Bit of Background

Some background on the coking coal markets helps shine a light onto this new contract’s attractiveness for the trade.

Seaborne coking coal trade volume has increased steadily over the last 20 years to an estimated 270 million tons worth $80 billion in 2011. Despite global output growing by almost 50 percent since 1991 to 891 million tons in 2010, quality coking coal has become harder to source, driving increased price volatility. Spot prices have moved over the last year from below $200 per ton to just under $350 at the start of 2011 and to around $270 this summer.

At a time of high input costs for mills, which drive increased price volatility and prices for finished steel products, end users have yet another tool to help insulate themselves from this changing price dynamic.

With any new financial instrument there will be a period of adjustment and a learning curve for new users of such tools, but the signs we are seeing already from coal producers, traders, and steel mills are extremely encouraging.

Obviously, we have a bias towards the promotion of these financial tools, but that bias is borne out of the measured understanding of the risks inherent in volatile commodities markets. All signs point to the volatility in the steel complex increasing. Uneven demand in the developed world, increasing demand from China and new supply coming in from non-traditional sources has all created a potent mix of volatility and uncertainty. We see this new coking coal swap as yet another potential safe haven for off-loading physical price risk.

— Brad Clark and Arne Petter Kolderup

The views and opinions expressed in this post are held exclusively by FIS Ltd., and may not necessarily be shared by MetalMiner.

Those watching the copper and other non-ferrous metals falling sharply over recent weeks on the LME, yet simultaneously reading that steel prices are moving up in the US, steel production is rising and iron ore prices remain firm, could be excused for wondering what’s going on. As Andy Home explores in a recent Reuters article, market fundamentalists familiar with non-ferrous metals and iron ore will argue opposite opinions that both metal groups are showing the “real market and the other is mistaken. Because surely it cannot be right that copper prices plummet on the expectation that demand is slumping and yet iron ore and steel prices rise on the expectation demand is increasing can it?

No, of course it can’t, so what we are seeing is largely a difference of perspective. With a robust futures market and slowing Chinese buying (recent weeks excepted), hedge funds and investors in the copper market are seeing a market with lower demand 12 months from now relative to today. Never mind that there are structural supply-side problems for copper, demand is easing, the dollar is strengthening and therefore “sell copper” is the overarching rule.

Iron ore and steel producers, however, are looking at steel growth in China and even in the US as robust.

Source: Reuters

Global steel production dipped sharply in August to 124.59 million tons from 127.51 million tons in July, but that is a seasonal trend seen every year as the northern hemisphere goes on holiday and Asian mills often undertake maintenance.

The global rate of production growth is still 9.8 percent, with China pushing 13.8 percent in July, and the first 10 days of September exceeding the 700-million-ton annualized run rate. Supporting the view that US steel prices will rise, Reuters reported North American steel production remains robust. US production growth actually accelerated from 8.9 percent in July to 13.8 percent in August, matching that in China.

But the common theme running through all this data is it’s “rear-view mirror.” Lacking a price-leading futures market, the ferrous metals market reacts more retrospectively than non-ferrous metals. Government can tinker around the edges, but particularly after the expenditure of every financial weapon in the Fed’s arsenal over the last three years, its ability to dramatically change the future is unfortunately very limited. We can be sure debt and banking worries will get worse before they get better — no one has the ability to make them otherwise.

Look no further than Europe to see what is happening when debt and banking worries begin to impact the real economy. Germany, France and other northern European economies, showing robust growth just 3-4 months ago, are now reporting negative manufacturing PMI figures. ArcelorMittal, Europe’s largest steelmaker, announced at the start of September it would shut down a blast furnace at its plant in Eisenhuettenstadt in Germany and while others haven’t rushed to follow, they are all on watch to do so.

China is again diverging from the West. Asian growth remains positive, although HSBC and Markit Economics manufacturing index has shown negative growth in Chinese manufacturing for the third straight month, according to Bloomberg. The reading of 49.4 for September’s manufacturing index compares with a final reading of 49.9 for August and 49.3 for July, all below the break-even 50 level, suggesting contraction. Long products production remains strong in China, driven by affordable housing construction projects, but with the economy slowing how much longer, will flat products continue to grow at +10 percent? Steel production does not exist in isolation from the rest of the economy. If Western economies stagnate or (worse) fall into temporary recession, steel production will be hit — it is already happening in Europe — and slowing demand in Asia should reduce sea-borne iron ore shipments.

In the long-term, there is a logical relationship between the metals consumption in an economy; they tend to all increase or all decrease, relatively speaking. If the markets are correct in seeing copper demand falling (and price falls are not just a function of a stronger dollar — non-ferrous prices are falling, euros, yen and pounds Sterling too, although not to the same extent as they appear to have done in dollars), then at some point steel demand growth must slow and also fall back, at which point price rises (for steel and iron ore) will be hard to justify, however disciplined mills and raw material producers are at managing capacity.

–Stuart Burns

MetalMiner coverage has underserved the platinum-group metals (PGMs) market lately, but recent releases of US auto sales and certain M&A activity have both conspired to bring them back on our radar. One recent acquisition saw Stillwater Mining of Billings, Mt., snap up Peregrine Metals, which opens the former up to copper and gold.

Hard Assets Investor interviewed Stillwater CFO Greg Wing, who said that China is still a primary driver in the palladium market, since most auto production and auto sales activity is centered on that country. To know what palladium prices will do, in other words, is to keep a close eye on how Chinese consumer demand drives auto production targets and sales.

“The projections are that by 2015, we could be producing 100 million vehicles in the world, Wing said in the interview, “a one-third increase over where it is today.

That would be pretty great news for palladium, as China will be doing the heavy lifting of fulfilling that projection — the US auto market, although slightly better in August, isn’t as influential on palladium demand — although it doesn’t look like it in the short term. Both auto production and sales in China were down from June to July. Yet Chinese auto production reached 10,462,400 units over the first half of this year, an increase of 2.33 percent compared with the same period of last year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). Also, sales were up 3.22 percent in H1 2011, compared with the same period in 2010.

Investors Flushing Palladium From Portfolios Lately

Luckily for industrial buyers, the palladium situation from an investment standpoint has looked pretty grim lately, as the metal has sorely underperformed this year so far as compared with 2010 causing investors to drastically reduce holdings. A Reuters report in late August cites a 5 percent decrease in palladium prices to $750 an ounce this year, the worst performing metal commodity this year to date.

That’s because when global growth enters a slowdown and causes concern over future prosperity, the industrial metals tend to suffer (at least in the speculative realm as an investor.) Palladium’s dip in early August coincided with worries over US and Eurozone debt issues, as well as reports that manufacturing and other economic sectors proved more sluggish than expected.

Source: Kitco

As a result, more metal had been sold off at once since 2006. Speculative holdings on the NYMEX have fallen roughly 20 percent this year, equivalent to about 286,300 ounces, according to Reuters.   Physically backed ETFs, such as the palladium ETF held by ETF Securities, have seen “unrelenting outflows this year.”

Well, this cycle will undoubtedly end sometime the only question is when. One possible answer could be not until the second quarter of 2012.

Platinum demand, on the other hand, looks like it could be lower in the long-term.  The reasons for this are 1) companies are already looking to substitute platinum with other metals in catalytic converters, such as gold, as Wing mentions. If other metals can (effectively) replace it, platinum demand will ostensibly drop and so will prices; and 2) platinum only constitutes 5 percent or less of the catalytic converter a “pretty small component, Wing said. Since so little platinum is used in the converters anyway, effective substitutes will reduce platinum’s industrial demand. (On the other hand, if Europe’s car market improves especially its diesel vehicle production, which is the primary user of platinum in its catalytic converters it could be a different story. Don’t hold your breath, though.)

As far as palladium’s future, however, once the global growth picture improves, and if China weathers inflationary storms to continue to make and sell cars, the metal’s price should remain supported reaching at least as high as its mid-summer 2011 levels, if not what it was in 2010. But we’ll have to wait a bit for that.

–Taras Berezowsky

Lately, our most popular inbound phone call involves our soon-to-be-released GOES Index followed by the rant/request for our thoughts on the latest steel mill price increases. That call basically goes like this: “Lisa, the mills have raised prices again, but I don’t see how the raw material prices support the increase. What do you think?

By habit I tend to say, “let me take a look and I’ll write a post on it.” So, we will now attempt to answer the question does the underlying raw material data support the recently announced mill price hikes? We could argue both yes and no.

The Case for Yes (Price Increases Are Justified)

As a fan of history, one need only look back over the past three years to see that scrap prices (though we’ll only show HMS #1 as an example) remain stubbornly high. Now granted, we haven’t seen any great price movement in August. In fact, according to The Steel Index, domestic shredded scrap prices have traded within a relatively tight spread — a low of $440/long ton in May to a high of $463/long ton in July, only to settle somewhere in the low $450’s/long ton now.

Sources: Steelbenchmarker.com and MetalMiner

The Case for No (Price Increases Not Justified)

Obviously, with no obvious upward sloping line, buying organizations may quickly come to the conclusion that a price increase seems out of line. However, when one considers seasonality and the timing as to when steel prices peak and trough within a calendar year, a different story starts to emerge. First the factoids:

  1. Steel prices bottomed in mid-August
  2. Turkey has recently experienced strong domestic demand for rebar, according to The Steel Index, and Turkish demand serves as a great proxy for steel scrap price direction
  3. Demand often picks up after Labor Day

As another example, take a look at this nearly two-and-a-half-year price chart of hot rolled coil prices:

Sources: Steelbenchmarker.com and MetalMiner

Price troughs have occurred in the summer months (July/August) as well as in the month of December (or November). What follows looks like an upward price ascent immediately following each trough. Although scrap prices have held steady (remember, they remain historically high) and we haven’t even commented on either coking coal or iron ore (other key raw materials), steel prices have already bottomed. And if history tells us anything, mills may have taken their pricing queues from that. When we hear mills talk about “market conditions,” we can infer they have analyzed similar trends; at least we can say that with some reasonableness based on the past couple of years.

Steel producers believe “market conditions may appear ripe for a price increase. Of course that only holds true if demand holds true. So you tell us how does demand look?

–Lisa Reisman

Global aluminum output has been steadily rising since the start of the year, supported mainly by Chinese and Middle East/Gulf growth with the market in a net surplus of 221,300 metric tons, according to the World Bureau of Metal Statistics.

Long-awaited production cutbacks in China failed to materialize in the early summer and if anything, growth continued with China producing some 41 percent of global production by the middle of this year. However, a Reuters article reports aluminum producers in China’s Guangxi province will start cutting production in September due to power shortages there, a move that is expected to support prices in the fourth quarter, the news service says.

Around 15 percent, or over 120,000 tons per year, of Guangxi’s 810,000-ton annual production capacity of aluminum may be affected by the power shortages, and although only equivalent to only 4 percent of China’s total production capacity, the cuts would be enough to push the country’s demand and supply from a slight surplus to equilibrium, a local analyst is quoted as saying.

Apparently the southern area grid is facing a deficit of 10 percent in power demand, due in part to a drop in hydro power production. The grid also supplies Guizhou and Yunnan provinces, both of which produce about 1 million tons per year each. We have been advised by some China specialists that smelters generally have captive power agreements or facilities which make them unlikely to be impacted by wider grid shortages, but the drop in production last month suggests the smelters are more vulnerable than reported.

The WBMS estimated China was a net exporter of 185,000 tons in the first half of this year. That figure could easily be reversed with current closures and it’s entirely possible we will see the country swing into net imports, particularly at current market prices which are not favorable for the highest quartile of Chinese aluminum producers. Rusal has just posted a much lower set of numbers for the second quarter, blaming raw materials, power and labor — all contributing to a 70 percent collapse in profits. Prices were high in the second quarter, which suggests power costs are even beginning to seriously impact one of the historically lowest cost producers outside of the Gulf region. Rusal is hoping for higher prices by year end to counter its rising cost base.

Meanwhile, traders, banks and hedge funds continue to buy and store physical metal in long-term financing deals, a trend that is likely to continue with low interest rates and traders such as Glencore earning off both the forward price curve and the cost of warehousing now that they own the storage companies. Leading analysts such as Harbor Aluminum predict prices could be back up above $2,500 per ton by year-end and suggest now is a good time to be buying forward. Recent firmness taking the price back above $2,400 per ton has more to do with dollar strength than the effects of Chinese production cuts, but eventually these will filter through and impact the market, particularly if the closures spread to other regions.

–Stuart Burns

Yesterday we talked through a couple obvious use cases for daily price data services. Today we review three additional use cases. As the use of price data becomes more ubiquitous, what companies do with the data has become far more strategic. Savvy sourcing organizations have gotten into the business of transforming price data points to actual market intelligence, serving as the basis for specific sourcing strategies. We will continue to explore these uses over the coming days.

Using Price Data for Negotiations

Though the use of price data for negotiations may appear obvious, how companies actually deploy these models suggests a wide range of practices. In addition, pricing data can serve both on the front end of a negotiation process as well as on the back-end. Let’s start with the front-end.

In this case, buying organizations may opt for the use of daily pricing data when they strategically source a metal category in which the metal portion of the total cost “floats against market, but the sourcing organization competitively bids and holds fixed the value-add premium. We have seen this use case used dozens of times in our strategic sourcing engagements.

Often, buying organizations deploy what we call the “3-bid monthly buy, essentially bidding out the company’s total metal requirement on a monthly basis. Under that scenario, the buying organization doesn’t realize that it often places both elements of its purchase up for a spot market bid both the metal and the value-add. More strategic buying organizations bid the category and competitively bid and hold fixed the value-add portion and merely bid the metal premium. Sometimes a buying organization can win using the 3-bid method, but over time, we’d contend that the strategic sourcing process of splitting out the two results in a lower total cost of ownership.

So how do metal buying organizations use daily price data on an ongoing basis? Invariably, they use it when producers announce price increases. Our anecdotal evidence suggests this case presents itself more commonly for steel purchases than other metals.

The scenario plays itself out this way: US Steel recently announced a $60/ton increase on carbon flat rolled steel to the spot market price. Buying organizations began scratching their heads. We received emails such as this: “I’m trying to figure out how much US Steel’s raw material costs have gone up. They just instituted a $60 a ton increase to the spot market price, I don’t see it from a raw material aspect. In short, buying organizations use daily price data to track raw material costs.

Pricing Data Used for Global Sourcing

We see a couple of uses of price data in the field of global sourcing. The first involves the use of the data to monitor global markets and identify when it may make sense to globally source semi-finished products.

Whereas the service centers and distributors take greater advantage of global sourcing opportunities for semi-finished metal products than OEMs (though some of very largest OEMs remain exceptions) by tracking global price points, companies can take advantage of arbitrage opportunities.

We’d argue the bulk of western manufacturers more likely than not buy more value-add metal products from global suppliers (vs. semi-finished products) such as fasteners, sub-assemblies, etc. and for them, the value proposition of using a daily global price data service allows them to keep their overseas suppliers honest in terms of the impact of metal prices increases on the total cost of the particular item sourced globally. We see this in our own MetalMiner IndX pricing service.

In a follow-up post, we’ll cover a couple of advanced use case scenarios for daily metal price data.

–Lisa Reisman

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