The 2022 Metal Surge

Metal Surge: Various Metals Rapid Price Increase due to Market Demands


Over the last year, the prices for various industrial metals have been on a steady rise due to the surge in demand. Copper prices have rallied for three consecutive quarters with prices jumping to a hefty $4.73 per pound; these costs outdo the historical market prices that circulated in May 2021. Aluminum has hit another record of $3,452.79 per ton due to international traders scrambling to replenish their inventories. Over the past two years, aluminum inventories have been spliced in half, from a massive 2 million tons in March 2021 to a steadily-decreasing 800,000 tons. As for Nickel, this metal has jumped 6% to its highest market price since April 2011 at $27,815 per ton, and the premium cost has risen from $600 to $608 per ton within one week.

Zinc has joined the metal increase rally, as it has hit its current price ceiling within the past 15 years at $4400 per ton. Currently, Zinc inventories are at their lowest point since July 2020. The Ukraine invasion has caused worry for European manufacturers as they scramble to replenish their metal inventories as energy prices are skyrocketing and have added long-term risk to production. Overall, the concerns over the supply chain disruption and historically-low global stockpiles have begun to outweigh concerns of the long-term impact of the Ukraine invasion on the industrial manufacturing industry.

In the wire and cable industry, the lack of metal inventory raises concern for potential future production and operational inefficiencies. The consistent increase in copper prices may cause issues within the industrial supply chain, as it is a vital resource within the majority of wire and cable production. While AWC employees have continued to provide the best possible products within the industry, the lack of materials may cause a puncture in the demand and supply scale going forward.