Thursday, July 1, 2010

Industrial Metals Lead Commodities Down for Quarter

Commodities experienced their worst quarter in over a year, as industrial metals plummeted in price on an extremely weak U.S. economy, China urban property inflation concerns, and the sovereign debt crisis in Europe.

The worst of the industrial metals was zinc, which fell 25 percent for the quarter, its worst performance since the latter part of 2008. Nickel was much better, dropping 22 percent for the quarter, followed by lead, which was down 19 percent, copper declining 17 percent, and aluminum falling 15 percent.

Heading into the fourth quarter doesn't look much better for commodities, as estimates from Barclays Capital have prices dropping even more, according to a recent report, especially copper and aluminum, which are used heavily in building homes.

With the bottom falling out from the U.S. housing market after the tax break was ended, along with the Chinese battling property inflation in their urban areas, the demand for industrial commodities are under extreme pressure until those situations turn around, which they don't look likely to any time soon.

Gold will continue to be a strong performer, and silver will probably shine when measured against other industrial metals.

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