Industrial metals have started 2017 with growth. Copper quotes are up 5% since the start of the year, rising to $5,760 per tonne. Nickel and aluminium have risen 4.5% to $10,480 and $1,750 per tonne respectively. Throughout 2013-2015, the prices for industrial metals stagnated, but in 2016 they grew steadily. Copper, nickel and lead rose 20% last year, with zinc and tin rising by over 50%. From November to December last year there was a small fixation of profits: light metals rebounded downwards.
The metal growth trend may well continue into 2017. Factors behind growth include positive signals from large global economies (China and the US). Furthermore, these countries are planning large-scale investments in infrastructure. Donald Trump announced a plan to invest $1 trillion in the construction of bridges and airports amongst other things. China, on the other hand, has declared its intentions to invest $115 billion in the construction of railways. Moreover, the Chinese government is planning to make requirements for factory equipment more stringent and this is set to increase demand for metals.
We believe that copper could reach $6,000 per tonne in the coming weeks and the price of Nickel could hit $11,000. Moreover, these levels may be reached before Chinese New Year on 28th January. At the end of January and start of February Chinese markets will be closed and during this period the growth of metals will slow.