ISM, BLS Data Insufficient for Commodity Forecasting? MetalMiner Launches 10 Monthly Price Indexes

Spend Matters' sister site, MetalMiner, recently announced the launch of
10 new metals pricing indexes designed to help companies better monitor and forecast commodity pricing trends. According to the announcement, "MetalMiner will publish a new series of metal price indexes featuring key metal economic indicators, specifically designed to be more compelling than the existing government and third-party analysis available to manufacturers... The monthly MMI reports will provide sourcing teams with fresh insight into metal price trends, which in turn will allow savvy companies to improve their internal forecasting and predictive capabilities. Banks, investment firms and hedge funds will gain additional insight to actual industrial metal price trends and actual demand."

The monthly MMI reports -- 10 in all, powered by MetalMiner IndX data -- focus on MetalMiner's exclusive composite indexes, highlighting metal price trends by specific industry (the Auto MMI®, Construction MMI, Renewables MMI) and by vertical metal sector (the Raw Steels MMI, Stainless MMI, Aluminum MMI, Copper MMI, Rare Earths MMI, Global Precious Metals MMI and the world's first GOES MMI).

Different from commodity indexes such as the Thomson Reuters/Jeffries CRB, each monthly MMI report is like an Institute of Supply Management (ISM) Report on Business -- think of the MMI as a "PMI," only specifically geared toward industrial metals sourcing professionals, hedge fund managers, research and investment advisors. The MMIs are one more battle weapon in the long war that is commodity risk management.

"Most sourcing organizations, banks and others still rely upon metal PPI (producer price index) data provided by the BLS," said Lisa Reisman, editor and co-founder of MetalMiner and MetalMiner IndX. "The existing indexes take only a single metal into consideration per index. The BLS indexes were originally developed in 1910, updated in 1969 and the baseline re-calculated in 1982. So it has been twenty years since the market has had the opportunity to look at alternative indexing and what actually drives global metals markets today."

"MetalMiner IndX intends to break with the old by offering a variety of indexes or composite metal baskets based on actual global transactional price data," Reisman continued. "Those traditional indexes worked well when steel traded within a $75-a-ton price band, but let's face it -- the world has changed since 1910, 1969 and 1982 and the indexes and price data needed to create competitive advantages need to change too."

"There is room in this market for innovation," she concluded.

The monthly MMI reports will provide sourcing teams with fresh insight into metal price trends, which in turn will allow savvy companies to improve their internal forecasting and predictive capabilities. Banks, investment firms and hedge funds will gain additional insight to actual industrial metal price trends and actual demand.

MMI information is published monthly on the MetalMiner site. MetalMiner IndX subscribers gain access to the information before it is released to the general public as well as information on over 600 underlying price points comprising the individual MMIs. To learn more about MetalMiner IndX and the MMI reports and how to apply them in your organization, you can read the use cases for index data or watch an overview video, both on the MetalMiner site.

- Jason Busch

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