Posted on 05/02/2010 in category Non-Ferrous

Non-Ferrous Metals Division world-wide monthly market update
by Robert Stein, Alter Trading (USA, President of the BIR Non-Ferrous Metals Division

Scrap supply far short of demand

Advances in GDP from many geographic regions have helped sustain metals values over the past few months. Supported by government stimulus packages, including low interest rates as well as direct subsidies, industries in many countries have managed to survive, if not thrive. This bodes well for our sector of the economy, but these programs have the effect of accelerating forward demand to the nearby, and many economists continue to question the sustainability of real growth. China has announced a tightening of credit, and that will no doubt have an effect on outright demand and perhaps prices.

In general, demand for scrap continues to improve, yet availability of scrap isn't coming close to meeting current needs. We can anticipate this situation to continue in the first half of this year as economies continue to expand.

On another matter, I addressed container security a couple of months ago. I've found out that there are bolt seals that have square inserts instead of round, making them much more difficult to violate. The latter can be tampered with, leaving little evidence that they have been unsealed. Our company has begun using security tapes that have our logo on them, and it is clearly evident if they are broken. While these two steps don't ensure that our cargo will remain intact, they should hopefully act as a deterrent; at least we hope so!

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