A string of disappointing economic data from the US added to investor worries over the possibility of that country's economic recovery is slowing. Base metals markets are under pressure from many factors, including the approach of a seasonal low demand period, deficit cuts by major European countries, and from ongoing economic structural adjustments and transformations in China. SMM believes base metal prices will experience heavy downward pressure.
Copper: Cargo-holders were generally unwilling to move goods while spot prices are sluggish. Domestic copper smelters have begun summer unit maintenance, which will affect market supply. With expectations of lower supply, smelters have little interest in moving goods at current lower prices. In addition, supply of imported goods remains tight. (Page 4)
Aluminum: Aluminum prices rebounded slightly last week, while market concerns over future price trends were growing after aluminum prices increased. Actual market supply did not decrease significantly, and uncertainties surrounding economic recovery depressed demand. (Page 6)
Zinc: Last week, LME zinc prices rose by 6.8%, while SHFE three-month zinc contract prices were up 5.4%. (Page 7)
Lead: LME lead prices rose steadily after previous declines. Overall trading sentiment in domestic lead markets remained lackluster. Transactions were generally made between RMB 14,600-14,850/mt. (Page 10)
Nickel: Downward nickel ore price momentum continues due to sluggish demand. (Page 12)