While trade in precious metals continues to be popular, base metals have their own value within the trading industry. Base metals are common, and therefore inexpensive, though their uses are essential to various industries and demand is higher than ever.
Copper is one of the most widely used metals. The shiny, reddish-orange element is believed to be the first metal used by humans thousands of years ago. In modern society, copper plays a vital role in everyday life. Its physical properties, which are similar to gold and silver, make it perfectly suited for a range of industrial uses including electric wiring, plumbing, roofing and industrial machinery.
Nickel has a number of industrial uses across a wide range of sectors. Two of its most popular uses are in nickel steels which account for 60% of the metal’s use and nickel-copper alloys which account for another 14%.
Steel is one of the most important metals used worldwide in the construction and engineering industries. Global steel production exceeds 1,600 million metric tons annually. Production is global, but it has shifted dramatically over the past decades from Western countries to China. Chinese producers now account for almost half of the global supply of steel.