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Industry Insights

Industry insights: can the copper market hold its mettle as demand intensifies?

  • Multi Asset
  • Materials
  • Greater China

The price of copper, one of the world’s most important industrial metals, hit a 10-year high last week, surpassing USD 9,000 a tonne* against a backdrop of low inventories and mounting demand for the red metal. Third Bridge Forum Interviews have explored some of the factors behind supply constraints and price increases, as well as other trends shaping the market’s short- and long-term outlook.

Although COVID-19-related disruption caused supply issues and transportation bottlenecks, there is a bigger narrative around copper, with “modest deficits” still projected this year, a former EVP at Vale Canada Ltd said. “I think the fact is, on the demand side, we saw much less effect from the pandemic than on the supply side.” In another Interview, a former analytics manager at Anglo American plc noted that copper has actually been in deficit for three years. “And these deficits are not inconsequential,” they said. “They’re pretty large numbers.” 

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