Precious metals prices surged in July. During the last month, metal prices finished high across the board. Gold reached a new record high of $2,063.20 per ounce (oz) on August 6. While that was great news, silver was no slouch, closing at $28.89/oz, an increase of more than 60% in the last months and a seven-year high for silver. In March, silver had slumped to a 12-year low of $11.60/oz. Palladium prices also regained their momentum, increasing 16.7% to $2,252/oz.
“The gold price surged 12% in July to hit new record levels,” said Cameron Alexander, director of precious metals research at Refinitiv. “This momentum has carried into August with gold tearing above the never-seen-before levels of $2,000/oz mark on the third day of trading. The rally in gold has been powered by the safe-haven appeal for the metal due to the worsening economic conditions resulting [a global] pandemic. The central banks around the world continue to inject stimulus to resuscitate domestic economies, which has led in some cases to currency devaluation especially with the dollar and lower interest rates, further supporting the rally. Tensions between the U.S. and China simmered, while U.S. President Donald Trump’s controversial statements on the upcoming elections in the country kept the investors interested in gold. With all these factors in the backdrop, the journey of gold in August looks promising, but profit taking could lead to consolidation of prices after such a rapid rally.”
Base metals and iron ore also rallied during the last month. Zinc prices improved by $370/mt to $2,377.50/mt ($1.08/lb). Nickel prices also moved 14.5% higher to $14,381/mt ($6.54/lb). Copper was getting a lot of attention as it neared the psychologically important $3/lb level. The E&MJ Price Index is reporting $118.89 per dry mt for iron ore, more than $20/dmt higher (or 21.3%). Cobalt prices also increased by $4,600/mt to $33,100 mt ($15.05/lb).
While some of these percentage figures for the last month, especially for precious metals price gains, look impressive, many of the base metals are just recovering to where they were at the beginning of the year. Copper, for example, hit a low of $2.12/lb on March 23. For all the price swings, lead is even with where it stood at the beginning of the year.