Metal Prices Finish Strong

At the beginning of 2016, metals markets were searching for direction as far as prices. Many miners who were completing optimization programs in 2015 as margins were dwindling were hoping the direction would be up and their prayers were answered in 2016. While knocking on wood, E&MJ can report, as of press time, the mining industry has noted a positive change in prices with cautious optimism, wondering if it’s a flash in the pan or a truly strengthening market fundamental.

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Copper Use to Grow Marginally

The International Copper Study Group (ICSG) convened in Lisbon, Portugal during late October. Government delegates and industry advisors from most of the world’s leading copper producing and using countries met to discuss key issues affecting the global copper market. The ICSG Statistical Committee reviewed the world balance of refined copper production and use.

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Nickel Market Searches for Direction

By Steve Fiscor, Editor-in-Chief

The news that 30 mines, 18 of them nickel producers, in the Philippines would be closed caused nickel prices to spike briefly during September. Nickel prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME) had dropped from more than $10,800 per metric ton (mt) in early August to a little more than $9,600 by mid-September. Prices then grew almost to $10,800/mt at the time the news broke of the possible closure in the Philippines and the market has been searching for direction since.

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Tin Production May Have Peaked in Myanmar

Metal prices, except for tin, remained relatively flat during August. Tin prices on the E&MJ Price Index increased 11.5% to $19,900 per metric ton (mt) from $17,850/mt last month. Four smelters, accounting for 18% of China’s output, were temporarily closed after failing environmental inspections, which caused tin markets to tighten.

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