This report contains the 55 slide images from a presentation made by the author at the meeting of the Metal Powder Industries Federation held in Denver, CO, on May 15, 2007.
The Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF) invited the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to speak at their annual meeting about the price drivers for chromium, copper, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, and steel. These metals are of interest to MPIF because the prices of these raw materials used by their industry were at historically high levels. Because the USGS closely monitors, yet neither buys nor sells, metal commodities, it is an unbiased source of metal price information and analysis.
The authors used information about these and other metals collected and published by the USGS (U.S. production, trade, stocks, and prices) and about consumption and stocks internationally by country from industry organizations that publish such information, because metal markets are influenced by activities and events over the entire globe.
By seeking a common cause for common behavior among the various metal commodities, the authors found that major price drivers on metal commodities were inflation, major international events such as wars and recessions, and major national events such as the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 and economic growth in China, which started with the open door policy in the 1970s but did not have significant market impact until starting in the 1990s. Metal commodity prices also responded to commodity-specific events.