The metal market has become increasingly unpredictable in recent years. The industry has seen huge shifts both higher and lower, sometimes within a week. The fluctuations in these markets have been compounded by the uncertainty in the global economy over the past two years.
Copper has been pushed hugher. mark this year, but suffered a drop in July 2010 by almost 15%. Since that time, Copper has been consistently rising again.
Copper, silver, gold and oil tend to fluctuate with the movement of the dollar. As the dollar strengthens, commodity prices tend to dip. On the other hand, if the value of the dollar weakens, commodity prices tend to rise. Since commodities are traded in dollars, they normally follow the up and down movement of the dollar market.
The Steel market, which has been rising since November 2009, appears to have stopped rising and may even be declining.
This pricing fluctuation is as much supply based, as it is demand based. While the demand for steel may not always large, many times mills will reduce their capacities so that they can hold pricing, or even see it increase.
Precious metals (gold, silver, platinum, palladium) have continued to rise all year. Gold, especially, has hit one high after another. People tend to flock to the safety of gold in difficult times, which has been evident over the past two years.
With the current state of the market there is no doubt that the market will continue to fluctuate unpredictably.