Copper prices bolstered their previous rally with a second sharp price increase this month. Trading volumes remain strong, albeit lower than the previous price spike.
Copper prices breached the $7,000/metric ton level, trading again at 2015 levels. The price breach is relevant, as copper prices have passed the previous peak in September.
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Source: MetalMiner analysis of FastMarkets
Copper prices retraced during September, falling by 4.6%. After the last copper price rise, copper prices increased by 9.4% this month. As the uptrend appears sustainable, we could still expect more upward movements for copper.
Besides strong trading volumes and bullish prices, macro indicators also now support copper prices.
According to the International Copper Study Group (ICSG), copper faces a 75,000-ton deficit. The global copper supply has barely grown this year.
Meanwhile, Chinese demand remains strong. According to the Chinese Customs Department, Chinese copper imports rose by 430,000 metric tons in September. Copper imports increased by 26.5% on a year-to-year basis. The Chinese copper appetite also extends to copper concentrates, in which demand increased by 0.1 million metric tons this year.
Some analysts are calling copper “The Metal of the Future.” Copper demand will increase due to battery electric vehicles (BEVs). China serves as the world’s largest BEV market and appears to be the most profitable one, too. According to Financial Times, Beijing has plans to reduce (and even ban) fossil fuel vehicles. Thus, demand for copper from BEVs will increase.
Industrial Metals Complex
The bullish trend applies not only to copper, but also for the base metals complex, in general. The DBB index remains in a clear uptrend. Both the short- and long-term trends suggest that base metals (and copper) remain bullish, and buying organizations may expect continued upward price movements.
Source: MetalMiner analysis of StockCharts
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MetalMiner recently published its free 2018 Annual Outlook that covers copper price trends, as well as an industry outlook (and all the other base metals and steel forms). Understanding how to react to price changes is vital in a bullish market.