As already explained in previous posts, industrial and precious metals have been huge underperformers this year. But it is not only 2013 that has been an average year for metals. Let's look at the overall sector more closely.
Chart 1: Year To Date Performance Of Various Metals
The chart above shows various metals and their year to date performance. It is not as clear cut as saying precious metals have outperformed industrial metals or visa versa. The truth is, within the precious metals sector, we have the joint best performer (Palladium is flat for the year tied with Tin) and the worst performer (Silver is down 30% for the year). Within the base metals sector, we have the other half of the tied best performer (Tin is also flat for the year). Platinum, Copper, Aluminium, Nickel and Gold are all down in double digits this year, with the last two (Gold and Nickel) down almost 25%. As a side note: Silver was down almost 40% this year and almost 65% from the May 2011 peak.
Chart 2: The Bear Market In Industrial and Precious Metals
Now, let us focus on the bigger picture. Commodities have been in a downtrend since May 2011 and the metals sector has been one of the major culprits. As a matter of fact, apart from Gold, the majority of the metals actually peaked in early 2011 and have lead the decline. Aluminium, Nickel and Silver have been the worst losers in the last two and half years. Palladium has really outperformed the whole sector by mainly moving sideways.