Surge in metal prices to impact powder prices

January 17, 2011

2010 saw significant price increases for number of key metals used by the PM parts, PM bearings, and hardmetal sectors of the PM industry. Copper surged on the LME from $7500 mt at the beginning of 2010 to $9590 mt (January 6, 2011) due to the lack of sufficient supply growth and declining stocks whilst tin increased from $17,500 to $26,645 mt (Jan.6, 2011) as a result of production declines in Indonesia.

Nickel started 2010 at around $18,000 mt and surged to $28,000 during the Vale miners strike in mid 2010 before easing back to $24,875 (Jan.6, 2011). Hardmetal (cemented carbide) producers are facing sharp increases in the price of tungsten carbide powder which rose from $27/kg at the beginning of the year to around $45/kg in December. The price of tungsten APT powder has risen by around 60% in 2010 to close the year at $330 mtu. (Source:


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