Alcoa Performs Well in Q4, Alumina Demand Up

Over the final quarter of 2018, the company brought in net income of US$43 million, with...

January 17th, 2019

Atrum Coal Upgrades Elan South Resource Estimate

Atrum Coal has increased the resource estimate for its Alberta-based Elan South hard coking coal deposit...

January 8th, 2019

Coal 101: The 4 Coal Types and Their Uses

There are four main coal types: lignite, sub-bituminous, bituminous and anthracite. Here's a look at their...

January 8th, 2019

QRC & MCA Slam Proposed Ban on Galilee Basin...

The Queensland Resources Council has bashed a proposed bill to ban coal mining in the Galilee...

January 3rd, 2019

Molybdenum Outlook 2019: Price Recovery to Continue

After a rocky year for metals, many investors are wondering what's ahead for commodities. Learn more...

January 1st, 2019

Coal Outlook 2019: Demand to Remain Stable

As the world moves towards green energy, what will happen to coal? Read on to learn...

January 1st, 2019

Tin Outlook 2019: A Bright Year Ahead?

In 2018, tin prices were on a downtrend, but what is the tin outlook for 2019?...

December 31st, 2018
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Industrial metals such as aluminum, tin and metallurgical coal are key for much of the technology and infrastructure used in our daily lives. From aircraft frames to everyday appliances, industrial metals are everywhere, and industrial metals investing is growing increasingly popular. Metallurgical coal, or coking coal, is different from thermal coal, which is burned to produce electricity. Coking coal is a key component in the steelmaking process. There is no substitute for the material, although steel recycling could blunt demand for coking coal in the future. There has been plenty of oversupply in both the thermal and metallurgical coal spaces as of late, and that has driven prices down. However, American President Donald Trump is pushing to reignite the US coal industry, and some market watchers believe...

Industrial metals such as aluminumtin and metallurgical coal are key for much of the technology and infrastructure used in our daily lives. From aircraft frames to everyday appliances, industrial metals are everywhere, and industrial metals investing is growing increasingly popular.

Metallurgical coal, or coking coal, is different from thermal coal, which is burned to produce electricity. Coking coal is a key component in the steelmaking process. There is no substitute for the material, although steel recycling could blunt demand for coking coal in the future.

There has been plenty of oversupply in both the thermal and metallurgical coal spaces as of late, and that has driven prices down. However, American President Donald Trump is pushing to reignite the US coal industry, and some market watchers believe a brighter future for coal could be coming.

Meanwhile, prices for aluminum look set to move higher on the back of growing demand and restrictions on output in China. An ongoing trade probe to investigate whether Chinese aluminum imports pose a threat to US national security could also impact the market and prices moving forward.

Chromium and molybdenum are also industrial metals. They all improve the properties of steel, but have other applications as well. Molybdenum is used in steelmaking as it has good tolerance for high-heat and high-stress situations, but it is also used by oil companies as a catalyst to remove sulfur from crude.

To be sure, there’s a long-term need for industrial metals, and for savvy investors the space could provide plenty of opportunity.

Industrial metals investing options

While there are plenty of options for investing in precious metals like gold and silver, industrial metals investing is a little more challenging. It’s not common for investors to physically own industrial metals, and most market participants instead choose to invest in these metals via futures contracts. For example, aluminum, tin and molybdenum futures are all available to trade on the London Metal Exchange.

Investors can also buy exchange-traded products that track industrial metals. Some are specific, such as the iPath Pure Beta Aluminum ETN (ARCA:FOIL) and the VanEck Vectors Coal ETF (ARCA:KOL), while others, like the iPath Bloomberg Industrial Metals Total Return Sub-index ETN (ARCA:JJM), are more diversified.

Finally, investors can buy shares of companies that mine or explore for industrial metals. Some investors feel safer investing in larger, more stable companies, while others prefer to put their money behind smaller producers, developers or even juniors. Doing due diligence is a key part of this type of industrial metals investing, and it is important for each investor to know their risk tolerance.

To learn more about industrial metals investing, please click the following links: aluminum, chromium, coal, molybdenum, tin.

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