Base Metals Weekly Round-Up: A Harsh Start to December

- December 6th, 2019

What happened in the world of base metals this week? Here’s a look at how the metals fared these past few days.

The base metals entered December on a low note, with all but one decreasing in price during the chilly month’s first week. 

Copper’s price remained almost neutral, dropping 0.02 percent by Thursday (December 5). The red metal hit its low on Tuesday (December 3) when it traded for US$5,811 per metric ton.

Last week brought a decline for copper as well. Chris Berry, founder of House Mountain Partners, believes that copper could pick up in the coming year, but there are still risks associated with the metal.

“… 2020 may be a better year for copper, but I think a higher copper price really depends upon supply disruptions in Chile or Indonesia coupled with the inexorable increased demand from electrification over the long term,” Berry told the Investing News Network previously.

Likewise, zinc’s price also dropped this week, decreasing by 1.53 percent over the course of the week. Zinc started the week trading for US$2,285 per metric ton, only to drop to its weekly low on Tuesday at US$2,220.50 and finish the week trading for US$2,250. 

Although zinc may be on the decline this week, investors can expect the price to pick up in the future, according to a FocusEconomics report. 

“Going forward, prices are expected to gain some ground due to the significant supply shortfall that is expected to persist in the global zinc market,” the report reads.

Nickel also had a hard time, decreasing by 3.38 percent this week. Nickel kicked off Monday (December 2) trading for US$13,620 per metric ton only to finish Thursday trading for US$13,160. 

Nickel’s price has been largely influenced these past few months by Indonesia’s nickel ore export ban — rumors of the ban boosted prices over the summer, only for them to begin decreasing once the ban was officially rolled out. The government of Indonesia is currently in the process of transitioning to the ban completely, and hopes to approve battery-grade nickel plants soon.

Lead’s price also fell this week, starting at US$1,911 per metric ton. It reached its low on Tuesday when it traded for US$1,833 and finished Thursday at US$1,891. Overall, lead dropped by 1.05 percent. 

Iron ore was the only base metal to make gains this week, increasing by 0.26 percent between Monday and Thursday. Iron ore traded for US$88.11 per metric ton on Monday and finished strong on Thursday, trading for US$88.34. 

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Securities Disclosure: I, Sasha Dhesi, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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