The London Metal Exchange sets the price for all metals from steel to gold and everything in between. World raw material suppliers look to the LME to set their sale price of their material.
Manufacturers who use raw materials would normally negotiate supplies at a set rate for a period of time, their job would be to get the best price possible for as long a period as possible. Obtaining such an agreement provides stability in the market. Our industry would normally plan to arrange for a twelve month agreement. Demand has outstripped the available raw material and because of this suppliers will not enter into long term contracts because prices are rising due to the shortage of supplies. Experts are predicting this will continue to effect the market at least until July 2022. We have been advised extended deliveries will be the norm for some time and expect prices to rise every month until July 2022 and then they are predicting them to stabilise.