Lisa Reisman, my trusty confidante, business partner, and wife, will be talking metals on Foxbusiness.com today at 12:15 EST (Lisa is also a Spend Matters contributor). Her live segment promises to cover a range of metals market trends, including which metals to track as a gauge of the overall recovery (and which suppliers and distributors she likes in each area). As we were chatting about the interview over the weekend, it became fairly clear that, regardless of the metal in question, producers and suppliers that have embraced innovation and made tough business decisions (e.g., shutting down less productive lines/facilities) are those most consistently poised for the greatest success in the coming years. Going beyond Wall Street's view of the metals market, these very suppliers are those who will probably make the best supply partners as well (look for Lisa to share some names in the segment). She also considers quite a number of other topics critical to getting out on the proverbial metals spend table as we head into 2010.
These include overall macroeconomic factors that influence the metals markets, such as the rise of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and the like, to which the whole market -- from metals suppliers to OEMs to investors -- should be paying closer attention. Lisa also believes that a number of relevant insights are worth sharing around price trending for steel vs. non-ferrous metals vs. precious metals. In Lisa's words, "Several base metals have doubled in price since the beginning of 2009, but others, like steel, are just a little bit higher. There are lots of reasons worth exploring with both financial and sourcing audiences, including why supply and demand impacts steel differently they do base metals."
And China still counts. From the super cycle to the accuracy of its own GDP growth estimates, to the overall risks inherent in its economy and what it means for metals buyers globally (including international trade and dumping cases), China is a topic Lisa also plans to mine (so to speak) on the show. Finally, no discussion around the metals markets -- especially no discussion around metals on Fox -- would be complete without a quick rundown of the various policy initiatives floating around Congress, including legislation involving carbon cap-and-trade/smog emissions and international trade. Check back later this week on Spend Matters for a link to a recorded version of the live show. Better yet, if you're in the metals-procurement area, turn to Spend Matters affiliate MetalMiner for coverage of these topics every day.