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: www.metal-pages.com)