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Pakistan has been facing economic turmoil since late 2022 but, following a recent revival of the International Monetary Fund programme and a major economic upgrade in September, the country’s rupee was named the world’s best-performing currency for that month - a major recovery sign.

Domestic demand for base metals has suffered extreme disturbance. Businesses and consumers of finished and semi-finished products are opting for liquidity rather than materials. Until currency exchange rates regain their stability, final consumers are holding off on orders in anticipation of better prices in the future.

October holidays in China, Pakistan’s major semi-finished material buyer, are a major reason behind the fall in LME copper and the drop in demand, keeping many deals and contracts on hold pending finalization. Material demand is stable but a lower LME and the appreciation in the Pakistan rupee are making business increasingly difficult. 

For Pakistan, improved business conditions are expected in the coming quarters in terms of both export and domestic demand for materials owing to a sharp recovery in the economic situation. Potentially lower supplies of material resulting from poor prices and harsher winter conditions could help prices to stabilize further.