As global development continues at a rapid pace, investors are flocking to the industrial metal industry, the metal of focus being copper. This increase in attention has led to copper achieving its highest prices since 2014. Copper prices have been stagnant for many months, but this recent surge in interest has led to the increase of copper prices to nearly $3.24/lb ($7,200/ton), from the 52 week low of $2.51/lb ($5020/ton), an incredible rally, raising the price by nearly 29%.
The increase of attention to copper has not been entirely incidental. Decreasing supply due to political tensions and an increased demand as China continues to develop at an incredible pace have played the two roles of economic policy, driving this red metal to record prices within a short period of time. There has also been a spark of unrest at the Escondida mine of Chile, with workers fighting for higher wages and a better work life balance, leading investors to fear that a shortage of copper is looming. This increase in prices has also led to significant increases in the share price of many copper producers, with shares such as Glencore and Anglo American rising over 2% this week alone.
This trend shows no signs of slowing, as copper prices are projected to triple to nearly $9.72/lb ($21,600/ton) within the next 10 years. China’s development has no signs of slowing down and Chilean mines are quickly depleting their copper resources, with current efforts to source new copper experiencing a very low success rate. On top of this, copper’s crucial uses from distilleries of spirits to household plumbing are demanding more and more of this precious metal, impacts of which will play a crucial part in the price of copper for the years to come.
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