Copper: Copper was the first mineral that man extracted from the earth and along with tin gave rise to the Bronze Age. As the ages and technology progressed the uses for copper increased. With the increased demand, exploration for the metal was extended throughout the world laying down the foundations for the industry as we know it today. Copper is an excellent conductor of electricity, as such one of its main industrial usage is for the production of cable, wire and electrical products for both the electrical and building industries. The construction industry also accounts for copper’s second largest usage in such areas as pipes for plumbing, heating and ventilating as well as building wire and sheet metal facings..
Lead: Being very soft and pliable and highly resistant to corrosion,Â Lead was ideal for use in plumbing as well as for the manufacture of pewter. In the early 20th century the automotive industry took off and new areas of consumption â€“ batteries and petrol â€“ created an enormous market.
Zinc: Â Zinc is commonly mined as a co-product with standard lead and both metals have growing core markets for their consumption.For zinc, the main market is galvanising, which accounts for almost half its modern-day demand,Zincâ€™s electropositive nature enables metals to be readily galvanised, which gives added protection against corrosion to building structures and household equipment.
Nickel :Â In the mid 18th century, primary nickel was first isolated as a separate metal. Prior to this, it was found in copper mines and thought to be an unsmeltable copper ore. Primary nickel can resist corrosion and maintains its physical and mechanical properties even when placed under extreme temperatures. When these properties were recognised, the development of primary nickel began. It was found that by combining primary nickel with steel, even in small quantities, the durability and strength of the steel increased significantly as did its resistance to corrosion. This partnership has remained and the production of stainless steel is now the single largest consumer of primary nickel today.
|Factors Influencing the Copper Market|
|Factors Influencing the Lead Market|
|Factors Influencing the Zinc Market|
|Factors Influencing Nickel Markets|
TheÂ London Metal Exchange (LME)Â is the futures exchange with the world’s largest market in options, and futures contracts on base and other metals .
TheÂ Shanghai Futures ExchangeÂ (SHFE) is the 2nd Important Exchange for Base Metals due to China is world Largest Base Metal Consumer