Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| Jun 10 2024

FIBER: Industrial Commodity Price Strength Eases in Latest Four Weeks

  • Metals price gains moderate.
  • Energy prices decline.
  • Textile prices ease.

The Industrial Materials Price Index from the Foundation for International Business and Economic Research (FIBER) rose 0.4% (4.9% y/y) during the four weeks ended June 7, 2024, after rising 2.1% during the earlier four weeks. The index has risen 4.0% so far this year alongside little change in U.S. factory output since yearend 2023.

Metals group prices increased 1.2% (14.5% y/y) over the most recent four weeks. Copper scrap prices increased 1.5% in four weeks (19.3% y/y) and aluminum prices improved 4.3%, rising 18.7% y/y. Lead prices increased 1.5% (8.5% y/y) in four weeks while zinc prices rose 0.5% (24.5% y/y). Tin prices eased 0.3% in four weeks, strengthening 21.8% y/y and the cost of steel scrap slipped 0.4% (-1.7% y/y).

Prices in the miscellaneous group rose 2.0% during the last four weeks and improved 2.8% y/y. The cost of natural rubber increased 10.2% in four weeks and rose by 41.6% y/y. Plywood prices fell 3.2% in four weeks (+0.3% y/y).

Offsetting these increases, prices in the crude oil & benzene group declined 2.4% (+5.6% y/y) in the last four weeks. The cost of West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 4.9% in four weeks to $74.82 per barrel, but were up 3.7% y/y. Prices hit a low of $70.42 in the third week of December 2023. The cost of the petro-chemical benzene, used for making plastics & synthetic fibers, declined 2.6% (+23.4% y/y) in the last four weeks. Excluding crude oil, the industrial commodity price index rose 0.7% (5.0% y/y) in the latest four-week period.

Textile group prices slipped 0.7% (-2.1% y/y) in the latest four weeks. Cotton prices weakened 4.5% (-17.0% y/y) in the last four weeks, falling to the lowest level since November 2020. The cost of burlap posted a 0.5% (8.6% y/y) four-week increase.

The Foundation for International Business and Economic Research (FIBER) develops economic measurement techniques as applied to business cycles and inflation in the U.S. and other market economies. The commodity price data can be found in Haver's DAILY, WEEKLY, USECON and CMDTY databases.

  • Prior to joining Haver Analytics in 2000, Mr. Moeller worked as the Economist at Chancellor Capital Management from 1985 to 1999. There, he developed comprehensive economic forecasts and interpreted economic data for equity and fixed income portfolio managers. Also at Chancellor, Mr. Moeller worked as an equity analyst and was responsible for researching and rating companies in the economically sensitive automobile and housing industries for investment in Chancellor’s equity portfolio.   Prior to joining Chancellor, Mr. Moeller was an Economist at Citibank from 1979 to 1984.   He also analyzed pricing behavior in the metals industry for the Council on Wage and Price Stability in Washington, D.C.   In 1999, Mr. Moeller received the award for most accurate forecast from the Forecasters' Club of New York. From 1990 to 1992 he was President of the New York Association for Business Economists.   Mr. Moeller earned an M.B.A. in Finance from Fordham University, where he graduated in 1987. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from George Washington University.

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