Metallprisnyheter april 2024

Metal Price News April 2024

Strong economic indicators, drought and sanctions are affecting commodity prices right now. For aluminium and copper, the last month has seen price increases of around 10%, but are prices too high?


Macroeconomic developments


Once again, the US economy is surprisingly resilient. In March, inflation rose from 3.2% to 3.5%, which caused the financial market to once again reduce the expected number of interest rate cuts from the US Federal Reserve.

At the beginning of the year, the expectation was 4 interest rate cuts during 2024, but in March this was changed to 3. Now we are down to 2, and the first one is not expected to happen before September.

Middle East

Over the weekend, there have been confrontations between Israel and Iran. The confrontations have had a limited impact on financial markets and the parties seem cautious to escalate the conflict.

Price overview April 2024


Copper has continued the rise from March. As we wrote about last month, this is partly because the Chinese plants have reduced production, and partly due to the Chinese stock building.

The question is whether there is actually anything abnormal about the stock building level. This graph shows Chinese stock levels from the past 8 years:

SFE Copper Stocks

The current level could indicate that prices are too high right now.

In 2021 and 2022, we saw higher prices than the current level, as high as USD 10,800/tonne, but there is no consensus in the market that we should go there again. At Alumeco, we believe that the price seems very high right now.

Copper price 2020-2024


Where copper has been on the rise for several months, aluminium has been more stable. But in the past two weeks, the price of aluminium has also started to rise.

There are 2 main reasons for the rising aluminium price:

  1. Aluminium plants in the Yunnan province in China have been asked to reduce production because of a drought. The electricity in the area comes from hydro power, so in times of drought the plants have to save on consumption so that the population has sufficient electricity.

  2. On Friday, the United States and the UK imposed new sanctions on Russian aluminium, copper and nickel.

The new sanctions ban Russian metal produced after April 13, 2024, on Western metal exchanges such as the LME (London Metal Exchange) and the CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange).

The aluminium price is high right now, but not unheard of. The graph shows large price increases in 2021 (COVID-19) and 2022 (Russia's invasion of Ukraine).

As with copper, we at Alumeco believe that the price should start to fall if nothing new happens that justifies the high price.

Aluminium price 2020-2024

Stainless Steel

Sheets and plates

We have been expecting an increase on plates for months now, and now we see a soft curve upwards. But the price increase is still driven by the strikes in Finland and Spain, and not an increase in the base price from the mills themselves.

This means that the imbalance in the market persists; the mills are not getting enough money for their products.

The strike in Finland has ended, but Outokumpu was one of many companies affected. As a result, the mill now has a large backlog of orders, which need to be processed.

In Spain, the strike is currently entering its third month. The dialogue between the parties is not going well, but a meeting today, 17 April, should provide more clarification. It is hoped that the situation will cool down towards the end of May.

The strike in Spain is affecting lead times across Europe which are currently nearing Q3.


Not much is happening with bars at the moment. Production is at a reasonable level and there is no indications of a major upturn or downturn in the market.


As expected, nickel has remained fairly stable over the past month, so the alloy surcharge continues the slight increase from March.

It is difficult to say what we can expect from nickel in the future. But right now it seems to stay between 16,ooo and 18,000 USD/t, even though the new sanctions from the US and UK also apply to nickel.