Metal prices spike as trans-Pacific trade scrap starts

May 15, 2019 — The trade war brewing between the United States and China could have a significant impact on the price of the metals used in vehicle manufacturing.

This week, the Chinese government announced it would be adding tariffs on American goods in response to more than $200 billion of tariffs announced by the Trump Administration last week. China’s tariffs will come into effect on June 1.

According to figures from the London Metal Exchange, the price of base metals used in the auto manufacturing, iron, aluminum and copper prices already ticking upward. On Thursday, both aluminum and steel saw full percentage price increases.

While the impact of the trade war on the price of rarer platinum group metals, like those found in a vehicle’s catalytic converter, has yet to be significantly impacted by the trade tensions, they could be more vulnerable to price increases in the long term.

Rhodium and palladium prices have traditionally risen with the Chinese economy, as the wealthier Chinese people become, the more vehicles they buy.


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