Nababeep: Copper 360 (Altx CPR) chief executive Jan Nelson said that the dip in the copper price is temporary and not the stuff of nightmares.
The red metal has been trading at 15% lower than in January 2023, presently in the USD 8300 per tonne range. But Nelson is not concerned and said that the copper market’s fundamentals remain very strong.
The price is still well above historical lows. Nelson said: “We’re looking at a copper price of USD 8,300 a tonne and people are panicking. It’s nowhere near the USD 2000 or 3000 a ton, which we experienced through the previous down dip in the cycle.” He noted that the long-term outlook for copper is positive, as the demand for copper is expected to grow in the coming years, much of it fuelled by renewable energy.
“Doctor copper or copper, that’s coupled more to infrastructure development and the health of economies has taken a little bit of a hit as we’ve seen some scares in the United States with the banking crisis and concomitant infrastructure development slowing down, some of the economic scares in Europe influenced by the war in Ukraine and the recent Chinese economic slowdown.,” he said.
Nelson expects copper to continue decoupling from traditional indicators as the green economy gains momentum. “The fundamentals of the market are strong,” he said. “The demand for copper is growing, and the supply is limited. I expect the copper price to rebound in the coming months.”
Bullish forecasts for the year remain with Goldman Sachs’s USD 11 000 per tonne twelve month expectation intact while on the bear side, analysts still do not see the red metal dipping below USD 8000 a tonne on downgraded views.
“Between the bulls and the bears, it’s a range that we are mighty comfortable with,” said Nelson.
Recently the Zambian government reported that copper production fell by 10%, and it ushered in its lowest output numbers in fourteen years. In April this year, the International Copper Study Group forecast a copper supply shortfall of 114 000 tonnes that is only expected to level out next year. Meanwhile it forecast that China’s use of refined copper will jump from a forecast growth of 1,2% in 2023 to more than double at 2,6% in 2024.