Market Analysis

In this month’s Automotive Monthly Metals Index (MMI) report: Ford CEO Jim Hackett will retire, the company announced this week; General Motors has plans to add more than 2,700 electric vehicle charging stations across the U.S.; and U.S. sales continue to show signs of recovery, but July sales remained down compared with a year ago.

The Automotive Monthly Metals Index (MMI) gained 2.4% for this month’s MMI reading.

Automotive MMI

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All the base metals have been on the up recently.

Nonetheless, it would be naïve to put all such resilience down to a weakening U.S. dollar (supportive as that is for metals prices).

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Aluminum does appear to be having a surprisingly strong post-pandemic recovery — in China, at least.

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All the base metals have been lifted by an expected end to lockdowns and a pickup in activity, particularly in China this quarter.

The weakening U.S. dollar has added a further fillip in recent weeks.

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gold price rising

Are gold prices really going to keep rising? Source: Adobe Stock/Nikonomad.

This morning in metals news: the gold price has surged to an all-time high; China is eyeing changes to its steep capacity swap rules; and Northern Dynasty Minerals has received an environmental impact study for its Pebble copper-gold-molybdenum project in Alaska.

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A recent Reuters article looked at the seaborne iron ore market and suggests robust demand from China is offsetting weak demand from the rest of Asia and Europe, leaving a largely balanced global seaborne market.

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India’s sponge iron manufacturers have appealed to the federal government to restrict the exports of iron ore pellets.

Such a move would help cut the price of steel and increase consumption in the domestic market.

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Shipping lines were thrown into chaos by coronavirus lockdowns — first in Asia, then Europe and finally in the U.S. Read more

Global aluminum production by volume fell in June compared the previous month but was about flat on a daily production basis.

Production totaled 5.27 million tons in June, down from the 5.45 million tons produced in May, according to reporting this week by the International Aluminum Institute.

On a daily average basis, June production was 175,800 tons per day (compared with 175,700 tons in May).

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Possibly as much to OPEC+’s surprise as the wider market, their deep cuts to output of just a few months ago are already bearing fruit.

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