London Metal Exchange (LME)

31 Jan 2018

LME Base Metals Performance in 2017

Cobalt was the best performing base metal during 2017, up 129% year on year (Figure 1). It had an average price of US$55,731.04/t with a low of US$32,750.00/t in January and a high of US$75,250.00/t in December. Cobalt is used in numerous commercial, industrial and military applications. Its leading use is in rechargeable battery electrodes.

 

Figure 1. LME cobalt and tin prices during 2017.

 

Tin was the worst performing base metal during 2017, down 6% year on year (Figure 1). It had an average price of US$20,089.08/t with a high of US$21,295.00/t in January and a low of US$18,757.50/t in February. Tin is mostly used as a protective coating or as an alloy with other metals such as lead and zinc.

The remaining base metals (aluminium, copper, molybdenum, nickel, lead and zinc) were all up year on year (Figure 2).

 

Figure 2. LME aluminium, copper, molybdenum, nickel, lead and zinc prices during 2017.

 

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