China Slowdown Leaves Base Metals Sharply In The Red For 2013

by: Hard Assets Investor

By Sumit Roy

With only seven weeks left in 2013, it's all but certain that base metals as a group will end down for the year. Only tin, with its 2.9 percent loss, has a chance to eke into positive territory, while the other metals languish with near-double-digit losses or more.

Commodity YTD Return
Copper -9.97%
Aluminum -14.10%
Zinc -9.69%
Lead -9.90%
Nickel -20.24%
Tin -2.86%

Thanks in large part to the slowdown in China's economy, stockpiles of most of the metals have spiked higher. As growth in the Asian giant is expected to remain muted in 2014, we do not foresee a positive reversal in base metals fundamentals. However, traders should keep an eye out for how supply responds to these lower prices.

Below are the year-to-date charts for the base metals (prices in $/metric ton), along with charts of inventory levels (metric tons) at warehouses monitored by the London Metal Exchange.

Copper (YTD)

Copper Stocks

Aluminum (YTD)

Aluminum Stocks

Zinc (YTD)

Zinc Stocks

Lead (YTD)

Lead Stocks

Nickel (YTD)

Nickel Stocks

Tin (YTD)

Tin Stocks