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Titanium bucks trend as May metal price indices decline

Keywords: Tags  Producer Price Index, PPI, steel, steel scrap, copper, aluminum, titanium, nonferrous ores IHS Global Insight

CHICAGO — Prices for metal scrap, ores and primary metal products all fell last month with the exception of titanium, the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows.

The biggest producer price index (PPI) decline was recorded by nonferrous metal ores (down 7.2 percent from April), followed by iron and steel scrap (down 6 percent), according to the not-seasonally-adjusted figures. The PPI for copper and brass mill shapes slid 2.9 percent, aluminum scrap fell 2.4 percent, copper-based scrap declined 1.8 percent, aluminum mill shapes slipped 1.4 percent and steel mill products fell 1.3 percent.

Titanium mill shapes were the sole exception, with a PPI that stayed flat compared with April,

Most indices also fell from May last year. The biggest decline was recorded by iron and steel scrap at 17.9 percent, while aluminum mill shapes saw the smallest drop at 3.6 percent.

The PPI for all finished goods rose 0.5 percent in May (seasonally adjusted) after falling 0.7 percent in April and 0.6 percent in March. "Higher energy and food prices were the main drivers of this increase, rising 1.3 and 0.6 percent, respectively," said Gregory Daco, senior principal economist for Lexington, Mass.-based IHS Global Insight Inc.

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