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Global Tensions Push Metals Prices Up

April 16, 2018
Uncertainty about the impact of tariffs, trade sanctions and military action in Syria has sparked a rise in the price of aluminum and other metals.

In a recent report, I was lamenting the decline in metal prices, as it did indeed look like the sky was really falling. But that was then, and this is now.

Tariffs, counter tariffs, sanctions, Syria – take your pick, whatever it was, markets responded big time.

We won’t go into the details of the moves in each market here, as this is another situation where the charts tell the story a lot better than we can. What we will focus on, however, is the common dominator found amongst those markets most affected last week. What they all have in common is Russia, and its very significant production of those natural resources that rose sharply last week.

Take a look at the price increases in these metals: Aluminum +18%; nickel +9%; palladium +10%, and throw in crude oil which was up nearly 9%. Finding our curiosity fired up once again, we felt compelled to look at the statistics in order to see how they stack up. Subscribers to The Copper Journal can see our summary on the first page of this week’s report, where the global “Top Ten” producers of nonferrous metals are all laid out. Russia is in the Top Ten category of all metals except for tin and zinc. It is the 2nd largest producer of aluminum; 2nd in nickel; 6th in lead, and 9th in copper. In precious metals, Russia is the 7th largest producer of silver; 3rd in gold; 2nd in platinum, and is the world’s largest producer of palladium.

So, if international tensions are going to escalate further, it will come as no surprise to see metal prices escalate as well.

Need more insight into metals markets? Contact John Gross, publisher, The Copper Journal for subscription information to the publication: [email protected] / 631-824-6486.