Latest First ↑

AMT LME COTR analysis 28 Nov.23

Base Metals LME speculators

28th November 2023: The most recent COTR data on LME speculative positions (for the week ending 24th November 2023) were released this afternoon. The data showed that trends in speculative positions varied significantly across the base metals complex. Bullish net speculative increases were seen for aluminium, copper and lead, driven by fresh longs. By contrast, […]

November 28, 2023 - Dan Smith

Read more

Base Metals: Resilience, Amid Global Headwinds

2nd October 2023: The major LME base metals have mostly rallied in the past year, although nickel and zinc prices have fallen sharply, reflecting poor fundamentals. One surprise has been the resilience of the base metals, despite the backdrop of problems in the Chinese property market. This is mainly because high debt levels at property […]

October 3, 2023 - Dan Smith

Read more

Aluminium: China Springs a Surprise

14th September 2023: LME three-month aluminium prices tumbled in the first half of this year, but the fall was halted in Q3 and we expect prices to rally in the year ahead. One reason for being bullish is that the Chinese market is starting to tighten, despite the backdrop of gloom around the property market. […]

September 22, 2023 - Dan Smith

Read more

LME COTR: Follow the money!

2nd August 2023: Base metal prices have a close relationship with LME net speculative positions. Tracking these speculative flows helps to explain why markets are moving and allows us to differentiate between investment-driven changes in price and fundamental changes and to assess whether there is a gap between the two. There is also a forward-looking […]

August 2, 2023 - Dan Smith

Read more

Base Metals: Diversity And Green Credentials

14th July 2023: LME base metal prices showed mixed trends in H1 2023. While tin prices jumped, the rest of the complex retreated. Headwinds are coming from poor sentiment in China and weakness in global construction and manufacturing markets. However, markets like copper, nickel and tin saw a demand boost from the green energy transition. […]

July 14, 2023 - Dan Smith

Read more

Base Metals: China Flatters to Deceive

Base Metals Copper Nickel Primary Aluminium Tin Zinc

15th May 2023: Base metal prices have diverged so far year, as fundamental drivers have started to reassert themselves. In particular, tin was supported by concerns about supply shortages, due to problems in Myanmar and copper prices have been resilient, helped by the green energy transition. By contrast, significant weakness was seen in aluminium, lead, […]

May 15, 2023 - Dan Smith

Read more

Copper Arbitrage: China Says Go; Investors Say No


Copper prices have fallen in recent weeks, as financial markets have started to worry about the impact of rising US interest rates and the ripples emanating from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. Copper arbitrage on COMEX is also trending down in line with lower speculative positions on the LME, confirming a broad retreat. However, […]

March 22, 2023 - Dan Smith

Read more

Base Metals: China Bounce Back to Boost Prices

Base Metals Copper Lead Nickel Primary Aluminium Zinc

31st January 2023: Last year was a weak period for most of the base metals and prices trended lower through the year, although nickel was an exception and followed its own bullish path. By contrast, aluminium, copper, tin and zinc prices have all rallied this year, despite a weak fundamental backdrop. While there is currently […]

January 31, 2023 - Dan Smith

Read more

Tin: A Triumph of Hope over Reality


12th December 2022: Tin prices have rallied in recent weeks, as LME speculators have gone from net short to net long. Like other base metals, tin is being boosted by hopes that the Chinese economy will see a strong bounce back, after severe Covid-related lockdowns in November. However, current fundamentals look weak and exchange stocks […]

December 12, 2022 - Dan Smith

Read more