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Generally speaking, the New Zealand metals market is noticeably quieter even though base metal indices have rocketed upwards. Consumers are still cautiously buying at current levels.

Metal recycling is typically a barometer of manufacturing, and with a noticeable softening in some sectors, particularly construction, the outlook remains challenging.

Coupled with a technical recession and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand maintaining the official cash rate at 5.5% owing to persistent inflationary pressure, near-term conditions are proving equally demanding for businesses and home-owners alike.

Australia’s Reserve Bank has also left its official cash rate unchanged, in its case at 4.35%, although the outlook is more favourable in the short term. Metal merchants in Australia have also indicated a softening of conditions although, with robust base metal and commodity prices, the mining sector remains very strong.