Metals News
BIR Says Base Metals Demand Will Increase
industry news
Jan 21,2010

Jan 20 (Purchasing. com) - Global demand for industrial metals will improve in 2010, driven more by buying at emerging economies, especially China, rather than industrialized nations, forecasts the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR).

The Paris-based BIR says in a report that its members are "broadly confident" that nonferrous base metals prices will be supported by Asian countries and India who are expected to continue to soak up material, while the outlook for Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries is less clear.

As many regional markets around the world remain in a seasonally quiet period, members say it's still too early to know if Western demand is truly picking up. "The next quarter will certainly test whether we are really on the road to recovery or not," Andy Wahl of Newell Recycling in Atlanta and vice-president of the BIR Nonferrous Metals Division, says in a Reuters report.

"During the final two weeks of 2009, all commodity values increased 10% or more and this momentum seems to have carried forward into 2010," according to David Chiao of Uni-All Group and board member of the BIR Nonferrous Metals Division. "The general belief is that this upward trend will continue until the Chinese New Year in February."

However, the Reuters report says sentiment is capped by evidence that Western demand for primary and secondary material is still subdued.

"European demand for aluminum remains very weak, with some of the low to middle-grade scrap going to Asia" says Joachim Muscinesi of Epur in France, another board member of the BIR nonferrous metals division. He tells the news service the purchasing situation for zinc is similarly weak while Europe's lead scrap consumers are showing no real buying interest. Copper demand is stronger in Asia that Europe, he adds.

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