Capital Market

LME base metals index tumbles more than 30% since 2022 peak

LME base metals index tumbles more than 30% since 2022 peak
Mining News Pro - The London Metals Exchange Index — a gauge for the six main metals traded on the bourse has tumbled more than 30% since its record high in 2022.

The index this month collapsed below its 200-day moving average, a technical measure closely watched by traders and analysts.

The move reflects the uncertainty about China’s economic recovery as concerns mount over the demand picture for base metals.

China’s imports contracted sharply in April, while exports rose at a slower pace, reinforcing signs of feeble domestic demand.

Copper futures, which were poised to benefit from China’s reopening from stringent covid restrictions, have fallen about 8% this quarter.

Meanwhile, Chinese imports of the red metal dropped to their lowest since October last month.

Zinc prices are also on the slide, with LME three-month metal hitting a two-and-a-half-year low of $2,517.50 per tonne on Friday.

“Zinc’s slump is part of a broader price retreat across the base metals complex as China’s post-lockdown bounce-back continues to disappoint,” wrote Reuters columnist Andy Home.

The iron ore price hit a six-month low at the beginning of the month, as Chinese mills announced plans to increase equipment maintenance amid shrinking margins.

China Baowu Steel Group unit said the domestic and global environment for steelmakers remains “severe” and Chinese demand will continue to slow this year.

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