June 8, 2020

Metals PMIs Rise Slightly In April, But Still In Contraction Territory


  • The IHS Markit Global Steel Users Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 45.5 in May from 43.8 in April, which was the lowest since March 2009. It was the fourth month in a row that the reading was below the 50-mark, which indicates contraction in the sector. The report said, “The rate of contraction was sharp, but slower than that seen in April.” Exports fell at a substantial rate, while staffing cuts softened from April’s 11-year record.
  • The IHS Markit Global Aluminum Users PMI rose from 43.8 in April to 45.5 in May, to signal a softer deterioration in operating conditions midway through the second quarter. The report said aluminum users reported a slower fall in output during May because production was less hindered by emergency public health measures to deal with COVID-19. Despite the improvement, analysts warned, “the overall decline remained sharp and one of the fastest seen since early-2009.”
  • The IHS Markit Global Copper Users PMI rose from 43.1 in April to 44.7 in May. The report noted, “Conditions have now deteriorated in each of the past six months, with later declines driven by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Factory closures and social distancing measures have reportedly led to much weaker output at copper users. That said, the rate at which production fell was softer than in April, due to the partial relaxation of restrictions in Europe” and the United States.
  • As a reminder, all PMI readings can be found here.