After a robust recovery during 2009-10, industrial base metal prices started to fall in 2011, and the downward trend continued through the second quarter of 2012 before leveling off in the third quarter. In recent months, there were some signs that metal prices have hit bottom and are starting to recover. This reflects the broad-based improvement of economic activities in the countries consuming the most commodities, as well as the resurgence of risk appetite from investors.
For 2013, researchers generally expect base metal demand to continue to bounce back and prices to move higher if another Euro-driven financial shock and the worst of the U.S. fiscal cliff can both be averted. The growth is very likely to be subdued, however, because of the relatively weak global growth prospects and the unusually high vulnerability in advanced economies. In addition, as China is anticipated to head for slower economic expansion over the next decade, its demand growth for base metals—especially those used heavily in infrastructure investment and construction—could moderate considerably in the foreseeable future.
This report covers six major base metals used widely in manufacturing production and provides detailed analysis and a near-term consensus price forecast for each metal (copper, lead, zinc, aluminum, nickel, and tin).
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