Zinc, lead prices break free from long term downtrend

Base metals have also enjoyed a stand-out 2016 with across the board gains year-to-date. Measured from recent lows which mostly occurred at the end of 2015 and in January and February this year the recovery in prices this year is even more impressive.

While bellwether copper has also been lacklustre adding only 1.5% in 2016, zinc is the top performer for the year with a 49% gain since January and the recent rally in lead means the metal now boasts a 16.5% rise in 2016 scaling $2,000 a tonne in September.

Aluminum and cobalt have both enjoyed double digit gains so far this year while tin (+39% just over $20,000) and nickel (+17% holding above $10,000) have recovered after wobbles over the summer. With the exception of copper base metals are currently trading at their 2016 highs after a strong third quarter.

BMI Research in a research report says the positive momentum is likely to continue as additional infrastructure stimulus measures by China and developed markets will provide a boost to prices for the next six to nine months.

The graphs for zinc and lead look particularly encouraging, with both metals breaking out of a long term downtrend:

Zinc, lead prices break free from long term downtrend

Source: BMI Research