The non-ferrous markets remain strong in New Zealand as businesses return from their traditional summer shutdown. Most merchants are reporting good starting volumes for the year, and certainly the outlook remains optimistic. With the recent gains on the LME, material has been flowing in and out of yards and finding its way to both domestic and international consumers, albeit with some increase in spreads on certain lines. Scrap inflows are expected to tighten in the short term, which could have an impact on spreads.
By and large, consumers have now fired up their furnaces for the year and there are mixed reports regarding production. Generally speaking, demand is still not as robust as it could be.
The overall outlook for the New Zealand and Australian economies remains positive, with growth currently ahead of forecast for the former.
New Zealand remains COVID-free in the community and so life is just carrying on, with everyone hoping for a quick roll-out of vaccines so that travel and tourism can resume. The initial roll-out of vaccines is forecast for March in both New Zealand and Australia.
Hayes Metals (NZL), Vice-President of the BIR Non-Ferrous Metals Division