Where Will Steel, Stainless, Nickel, Aluminum, Copper and Zinc go in 2008?

What Will 2008 Bring in the Metals Markets? Earlier today, Lisa Reisman and Stuart Burns penned a thoughtful and lengthy post over on Metal Miner offering up their predictions for the metals markets in 2008. Among the metals categories they take their crystal ball to, the two examine where steel, stainless, nickel, aluminum, copper and zinc prices might be headed to on a global basis. In the same article, they also tackle the impact of a falling dollar and rising oil prices on global metals sourcing. What are some the assumptions driving the forecasts they present in their post? According to the metals blogging dynamic duo, “In the face of a slowing US economy, a mixed position for the European economies and a still strong Asian market, it is a particularly tough call this year to judge where prices will go. Our call is the US will teeter on recession. Europe though restricted by high ECB interest rates will still enjoy some (if reduced) growth providing the Euro/US Dollar exchange rate does not strangle exports. Asia in general and China in particular are still enjoying robust growth. China may well drop from the double digit growth of the last 5 years to high single digit figures but that is still a very significant driver for the world economy and particularly the world metal markets.”

Reading Stuart and Lisa reminds me about how much domain knowledge really counts in analyzing and covering specific commodities markets. Call me biased -- yes, I am married to one of the authors -- but relative to the price alerts and regurgitated crap that only mildly passes for journalism that the trades put out on metals, there's no substitute for the type of coverage that only true industry experience can bring to the table. Seriously, do we really want to know that the sky is falling and copper is up today, or do we care about why and where it might go tomorrow -- and what to do about it from a sourcing and trading perspective?

- Jason Busch

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