May 11, 2020

Metals PMIs Experience Largest Decrease In More Than A Decade


  • According to the IHS Markit global steel purchasing managers’ index, steel users faced an accelerated decline in operating conditions in April, including the sharpest drop in new orders in more than 11 years. Output also contracted at a steep pace from March while job numbers were lowered at the fastest rate since March 2009. The overall reading fell to a 133-month low of 43.7 in April. Click here to read the full report.
  • The IHS Markit global aluminum PMI fell to 43.8 last month, its lowest level in more than 11 years. Regional data showed that the most severe reduction was at European users, followed by the United States, with both recording the fastest declines in output in the series history. Asian users lowered output only marginally, however, since some industries returned to activity after earlier COVID-19 lockdown measures. Click here to read the full report.
  • The IHS Markit global copper PMI also declined, dropping to 43.1 in April from 48.9 in March. Lockdown measures led to a sharp decline in client demand and initiated the fastest reduction in job numbers for almost 11 years as cost-cutting efforts were evident. Click here to read the full report.
  • As a reminder, all PMI readings can be found here.
  • The Chinese government announced last week that exports from the country increased 3.5 percent from April 2019 to April 2020 while imports fell 14.2 percent due to the coronavirus pandemic. China’s April trade surplus was $45.34 billion, far above the $6.35 billion predicted by economists polled. China’s trade surplus with the United States was $22.9 billion.
  • China also reported that exports of steel into the country fell 0.3 percent between April 2019 and April 2020 and 11.7 percent between the first quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020. Steel imports dropped 11.7 percent for the month, but rose 7.4 percent in the first quarter. Imports of unwrought copper, including anode, refined, and semi-finished copper products, rose to 461,457.5 tons in April, a 4.4 percent increase from March 2020 and a 13.9 percent increase from April 2019.