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Metals / Copper

  • Rising Inventories Could Push Copper Prices Down

    Rising copper prices in the last few days may lead buyers to believe normal business has resumed for the copper bull run. The copper price had been rising strongly last year and this year reached over $10,000 per ton in February, but has since fallen back in what many copper bulls see as a well needed pause before the next drive higher. Source: LME In a Reuters article, Barclays Capital analyst Gayle Berry is quoted as saying she expects copper prices to average $13,000 a ton in the final quarter of 2011 after a period of range trading between $9,000…

  • Copper Crimes: Worldwide Theft of Copper on the Increase

    Forget about China’s slight dip in demand for copper – the red metal is still red hot all over the world. So hot that copper crimes undeniably rising more than ever. So hot, even, that three whole nations suffered Internet outages due to the desirability of copper. Surely you’ve read or heard about the funniest instance (yet with the most widespread fallout) of copper scrapping involved 75-year-old Hayastan Shakarian (above) from the village of Armazi who, according to police, was trying to root up copper scrap to sell for extra money. Instead of finding copper, this enterprising lady effectively cut…

  • Simon Hunt’s View on the Copper Market and Metal Prices

    When I saw Simon Hunt was being interviewed by Mineweb’s Geoff Candy, I couldn’t resist checking out the podcast. Simon Hunt has been an active market expert for longer than most people have been out of short pants and there isn’t much in the market he hasn’t seen before. Candy’s interview ranged across various issues related to copper, the first being the level of real verses apparent copper demand in Asia, an issue Hunt has spoken out on in the past. Having just returned from China, Hunt’s belief that much of the copper consumption in recent years has been for…

  • Upgrading Copper

    They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I felt like puffing out my chest yesterday when Goldman Sachs (GS) announced an upgrade of Freeport McMoran (FCX), posting a six month target of $96/share. (FCX) is one of the world's largest copper producers, and has a nice little gold business on the side, as the two are often found together. The Vampire Squid said that demand from China was unrelenting, would continue into the foreseeable future, and that it was not all about stockpiling. I always welcome more investors joining the bandwagon after I have established a…

  • Why You Should Pay Attention to Copper

    The world price of copper both reflects and drives the hopes and fears of economic recovery and disaster. Roughly 50 pounds (22.7 kg) of copper is used in producing an automobile and 400 (181.4 kg) in constructing a house. The metal is also used in many electrical applications, shipbuilding, piping, roofing and household consumer products, especially in numerous alloys including brass and bronze. So it is not without reason that copper is considered the leading indicator of industrial activity not just in the US (where nearly half of all copper consumption is in building construction) but worldwide as well. It…

  • Is Copper the New Red Gold?

    Federal detention centers in the San Francisco Bay are a are slowly filling up with a new type of criminals. Illegal immigrants and petty drug dealers are being joined by a rising tide of copper thieves raiding abandoned government facilities for their heavy gauge copper electrical wire. At current prices a decent night's haul can net crooks up to $20,000 at recycling centers. Long known as "Dr. Copper", because it is  the only commodity with a PhD in economics, the red metal has long been an excellent forecaster of economic activity around the world. Hedge fund managers have been impressed…

  • Chile Introduces Sliding Royalty Scale on Copper Production

    I wrote yesterday about the importance of tailoring royalties to fit the situation for different oil and gas plays. Today, there's news on an interesting riff on this idea. Tailoring royalties to fit the situation for the collecting government. The government of Chile needs funds. The Chileans are looking at several billion dollars in costs to repair damage from the recent mega-quake. On Friday, the government outlined plans to raise these funds. Announcing tax hikes that will bring in an estimated $3.1 billion. Some $700 million of that will come over the next three years from the copper mining sector.…

  • The Coming Copper Crisis and Price Forecasting - Is There a Better Way?

    David Threlkeld of metals trading advisor Resolved Inc. got some press this week. That happens when you predict a catastrophe. Threlkeld was quoted by Bloomberg repeating an ominous prediction he first made in May 2006. The call? That the copper market is heading for a catastrophic collapse. With the LME price falling to below $1 per pound. Threlkeld has some credentials. He was one of the first to expose rogue copper trader Yasuo Hamanaka in the mid-1990s. And point out that Sumitomo's hoarding of copper was having an undue effect on prices. His arguments on the coming copper crisis make…

  • Why Copper Is Such An Important Economic Indicator!

    For decades, copper has served as an effective barometer of the economic health of a region. This amazing consistency of ability to gauge a realistic prognosis of an area’s economic vitality is precisely why financial experts have traditionally referred to copper as “Dr. Copper!” Copper is a relatively inexpensive and extremely plentiful metal with numerous useful properties. It effectively resists corrosion and is a very effective conductor of both electricity and heat. This quite naturally makes copper a prominently relied upon and utilized “center piece” of any emerging or expanding industrial economy. From electrical wiring to plumbing, from radiators to…