Copper Price Goes Flat. Until It Doesn’t

Copper Price Goes Flat. Until It Doesn’t

In medical terms, a flat line is never good.

For most of this week, if you looked at a chart for the price of copper, it was pretty flat. Following weeks of volatility, and a sudden rise to a near record-high price last week, it looked like we would get a break from dips and gains.

And then Thursday happened.

But first, we go back to last Friday, when the price settled for the week at nearly $4.73 a pound, about 10 cents below the record high we hit last summer. Despite some rising and falling throughout the day on Monday, October 18, the price remained almost exactly the same when the day ended.

We saw more of the same on Tuesday, October 19 and Wednesday, October 20, as the price remained between $4.68 and $4.81 over the 48 hour period. Still, prices settled with a less than 1% overall change.

Two main factors led to the price drop on Thursday. First, China announced that it would be raising its coal output and give it a priority for delivery during the energy shortage in Europe. With demand for copper dropping, the price started dropping with it. Then, despite copper output being less than expected at one of the largest mines in the world, the price dropped again when China announced it would be dropping its demand for the near future.

The price drop was fast and steady throughout the day and held around the $4.56 mark into Friday morning. At the time we posted this story on Friday, October 22, the price remained at $4.55. We almost had a full week with almost nothing to report. And then we didn’t.

Analysts are still predicting lower than expected output from mines, but also a drop in demand as clean energy initiatives slow down for the rest of the year. Some analysts refer to it as a “loosening” of the market and expect the price to dig closer to $4 a pound by the end of this year.


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