Economy, Business And Markets

IME Probes 2015 Decline in Metals, Minerals Trade

IME Probes 2015 Decline in Metals, Minerals TradeIME Probes 2015 Decline in Metals, Minerals Trade, IME Probes 2015 Decline in Metals, Minerals Trade, IME Probes 2015 Decline in Metals, Minerals Trade

Iran Mercantile Exchange recently published a report on the commodity exchange’s metals and minerals trade in 2015, outlining the causes of retreating prices and shrinking trade compared to the year before.

According to the report, IME witnessed the trading of 9.8 million tons of metals and minerals valued at over $3.6 billion in 2015. Trade volume and value decreased by 19% and 35% respectively year-on-year.

Steel products took the top spot in terms of trade value, as 6.6 million tons valued at $2.6 billion were traded, indicating a 25% and 37% decline in volume and value respectively.

Coke stood at the other end of the spectrum with the trading of 7,000 tons valued at $1.3 million, filing a 50% and 45% drop respectively.

Gold grew the most in terms of trade value among all minerals during the period. Over 600 kilograms of the precious mineral valued at $20 million were traded to register a 194% and 184% growth in volume and value respectively. This is while iron ore registered the year’s highest drop in trade value. With the transaction of 2.7 million tons of iron ore worth $45.9 million, it shrank by 1% and 49% respectively compared to 2014.

IME prices for bloom ingots, slabs, hot-rolled steel, flat sections, copper cathodes and aluminum ingots followed the global downward trend. Bloom ingots’ prices dropped the most in the global markets at IME.

The commodity exchange pointed to China’s sluggish economic growth in 2015, as the main cause of the minerals’ dwindling fortunes for the year. The industrial giant’s GDP growth last year stood at 6.9%, recording its lowest since 1991. The variable is predicted to be even less by the end of 2016.

While grappling with a slowing economy, the metal and minerals markets were hit with a double whammy of shrinking demand and severe oversupply. The condition was especially crippling for steel, as markets all over the world were saturated with dumped Chinese steel.

The second cause, according to IME, was the rise in the US dollar’s value against euro last year, which significantly reduced demand for base metals. It is predicted that the value of dollar will continue to grow due to the Central Bank of Europe’s plans to adopt a new support policy.

Brazilian and Australian iron mines’ rampant capacity-making and production, meant to meet the ever-increasing Chinese demand for the raw material, dragged down the ore’s price by more than 50% and led to a still-lingering oversupply in global markets.

Back on the domestic front, lack of government funding in the construction sector coupled with a prevalent economic recession caused construction material prices and demand for these commodities to hit all-time lows. Cement, steel and iron were especially hurt.