EXPLORE

 

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MetalsPlus Offering in Brief

 
 

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Our expertise spans across metals markets to the industries that use metals – from mine through to final assembled industrial product.

Our work falls into two main areas:

  • Metals – from mine through to metals market dynamics and pricing
  • Industry – from materials input to sector-specific market analysis and interpretation.

Our breadth of coverage has benefits for both ends of the spectrum, and all in between.

To mine interests, we offer a true understanding of where your product is destined.

To industry we offer an understanding of materials content dynamics as well as sophisticated, granular industry-specific analysis

Our approach is market dynamic focussed.

We assess value chain links and industry structure components to find advantage for our clients where this can best be found.

To May 2015, the expertise that now forms MetalsPlus was resident within other research companies. With the formation of MetalsPlus we ae able to give a better value offering more accurately targeted at achieving your goals.

 
 

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Types of Assignment

 
 

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Metals Sector

  • Supply, demand and price analysis and forecasting
  • Supply chain mapping using zero-sum analysis techniques
  • Value chain dynamics, identifying apportionment of value
  • Mined and refined product differentiation and the implications
  • Scrap in the supply chain
  • Routes to market
  • Mine development pipeline in its market context
  • Smelter and refinery development in the market context
  • Granular demand sector analysis and forecasting by fabricated product
  • Granular demand sector analysis and forecasting by manufactured product
  • Granular demand sector analysis and forecasting by industry sector
  • Inter-materials competition and the implications
  • Materials substitution, miniaturisation and other threats to metals use
  • Emerging technologies and new opportunities for metals
  • Promotional opportunity and leverage for metals / metals products
  • Mine sector industry analysis and competitor appraisal
  • Trends in mining and processing industry structure and the implications
  • Trends in metals processing industry structure and the implications
  • The ramifications of technology change

Metals Using Industries

  • Materials use and materials options in industrial products
  • Market segmentation and shares analysis
  • Supply, demand and price analysis and forecasting
  • Supply and value chain mapping, identifying apportionment of value
  • Routes to market, options compared
  • Granular demand sector analysis and forecasting by manufactured product
  • Granular demand sector analysis and forecasting by industry sector
  • Emerging technologies and new opportunities
  • Promotional opportunity and leverage by product
  • Competitor appraisal
  • Market appraisal relating to capacity expansion
  • Market appraisal relating to product development
  • Industry structure trends and the implications
  • The ramifications of technology change
 
 

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A Few Recent Projects

 
 

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Building Wire Market Appraisal and Forecast

Accounting for around 15% of copper use, building wire is the largest of copper’s markets. Yet, it is often poorly understood, assumed to be a constant part of the building industries’ output of new built structures with few developments of interest in the wire market itself.

In fact, quite the reverse is true. In this analysis we carried out a detailed market segmentation by major country and region, identifying the unique characteristics of residential and non-residential sectors, of new building and refurbishment activity, and the relation of building wire to each. The survey looks at building wire in the context of wiring structures within buildings and the regulations attached to them. We also assessed the characteristics of different types and sizes of wire.

Through this process we discovered important regional differences between market segments and regions, in particular differences in intensity of use measured against floorspace in place and floorspace newly built. We also discovered a few important emerging trends, not least the penetration of 8000 series aluminium products.

Transformer Industry Analysis and Forecast

This global survey and forecast of the transformer industry delved deeply into the dynamics of this important market for copper, aluminium, electrical steel and mineral oil. The scope encompassed products from small distribution transformers of 5 kVA to the largest power transformer of over 1,000 MVA, measuring the market in MVA, value, and materials content. The dynamics of incremental and replacement demand were assessed separately.

Though transformers have been around for a very long time and design fundamentals for most of the fleet have changed little, we found transformers to be an industry in flux. Faced by ever-tougher environmental legislation, shifts in the structure of the emerging power network and gyrations in the cost of major materials, transformer manufacturers have begun to change their product offering quite fundamentally. As well as having major implications for materials suppliers, the industry itself is undergoing big changes.

The larger global players in the transformer industry, perhaps better able to cope with the demands of a changing market, often have a quite different design philosophy from their smaller counterparts. The research shows quite clearly that this is a business in a process of change that is by no means over.

The Market Interface Between Electrical Steel and Copper

Commissioned by a major industry body, this was a detailed review and forecast of the electrical materials used for their magnetic properties in motors, generators and transformers, namely electrical steel and conductor material (copper or aluminium).

The research involved a detailed analysis of the material content of electrical products, the design options applying, the logic of material choice and what this means for the volume and grades of material chosen.

In particular, for electrical steel the designer has a wide variety of material grade options, in general the choice of higher quality meaning lower volume but better margins. These margins, though, vary over time and relate to the relative bargaining power of suppliers and consumers.

To assess this evolution, the position of different material grades and also of copper (which if used in more volume may allow less or lower grade steel to be used), required us also to carry out a detailed appraisal of the supply side of the electrical steel equation.

Promotional Opportunity Appraisal for All Copper Products

Commissioned by a major industry body, the purpose was firstly to identify how product specification decisions are made, and who makes them. Here, we looked at the parties involved within a corporate structure (including engineering, procurement and marketing), the relative position of plant location and head office, and the relative importance of different companies along a complex supply chain from basic manufactured product through to final assembly and then final consumer.

The second part was then to identify applications which offered the greatest opportunity for promotion (or marketing) leverage. Part of this is about access, and thus falls out of the decision making work. Other issues are the intrinsic merit of a marketing argument, the nature of inter-materials competition and technology change and the market volume open to being gained or alternatively saved from being lost to competition.

In the process of doing this work, we developed a unique In house methodology for ranking promotional and marketing opportunities for basic materials.

Product Choice and Marketing Plan for a Major New Nickel Mine

As part of a feasibility study for a 60 ktpy nickel mine, the task was to decide what product to make from the options available (nickel cathode, rondelles, briquettes or other pure nickel, ferronickel or intermediates), what grade, which markets to address and routes to market.

The project required a detailed market segmentation analysis, research into the differentiation in the products available from different mines, prices premia and discounts applying, customer requirements and ease of entry into the different market sectors.