When tED magazine last reported on the price of copper on September 10, we had to put in a line near the end of the story that said, “And then on Friday morning, September 10, we wake up to another price spike, and now copper sits at $4.38 a pound, five cents higher than it was a week ago.”
The price hike didn’t stop there.
By the end of the day on September 10, the price of copper had gone from an open of $4.28 a pound to a close of $4.45 a pound, jumping 17 cents in less than 24 hours. Analysts blamed a spike in China’s inflation rate to a 13-year high as major reason for the increase in price.
The last time copper closed above $4.45 a pound was back on July 30.
But this week is when the price really bounced around. After moving as high as $4.47 on Monday, September 13, the price quickly settled back. At one point, the price dropped to $4.33, a 14 cent decline, before closing the day at $4.36 a pound.
U.S. inflation numbers brought another spike in price on Wednesday, September 15, as prices moved as high as $4.42 a pound before ending the day at $4.40.
And then came some manipulation of the market in both Chile and China.
First, Chile’s copper commission released a statement that it is lowering the average copper price estimate for the rest of this year from $4.30 a pound to $4.20 a pound. As expected, the price almost immediately started moving toward that $4.20 price. On top of that, China announced that it would be releasing more metals from its reserves in what it calls “an effort to overcome mismatches between supply and demand”. News of both announcements brought the price to a close of $4.28 a pound on Thursday, September 16.
By Friday morning, September 17, the price had dipped again, where as of this writing it is at $4.27 a pound, which is almost the exact same price as it was 8 days ago, before all of this bouncing around began.
For a little more perspective, tED magazine was able to find a chart for 2021, which shows a price in the $3.50 range back on January 1, 2021. After a series of peaks and valleys this year, the price is now about 80 higher per pound for the year.
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