London Metal Exchange Week is a time for looking back as well as forward. In the annual premium and treatment charge (TC) negotiations that start during the week, one eye is cast backwards – looking at how things developed relative to expectations a year earlier – while the other eye is firmly locked on the outlook for the coming year.
For most, the eye looking back will conclude that metals outperformed expectations for the second consecutive year. Copper and aluminium have been the surprise top outperformers. Zinc has performed as expected, rising strongly due to a lack of mine supply feed.
Producers will be disappointed that nickel has risen only modestly following all the hype last year surrounding supply cuts from the Philippines.
The prize for the most boring metal price this year goes to tin, which is essentially unchanged (suppressed by rising supply from Myanmar to China), while lead is in...