Speculation Leads to Mid-Week Spike in Copper Prices

Speculation Leads to Mid-Week Spike in Copper Prices

Some of you may believe that every time there is a glitch in the oil market or the refining process, gasoline prices are going to jump quickly, and then stay there a while. Even if that glitch is really just speculation.

Welcome to the week in copper prices.

Taking you back to Friday, August 6, prices had settled at $4.36 a pound, which was a significant decline from the week before.

Things settled a bit over the weekend, and by the close of trading on Monday, August 9, the price per pound had dipped to $4.28 a pound.

And then the rumors and speculation started.

Several mines in Chile, the world’s top producer of copper, are dealing with potential labor strikes. Nothing official yet, only that the mining union in Chile rejected the latest contract offer from the BHP Escondida mine, and there would be a 10 day cooling off period before any potential work stoppage. A strike would definitely make prices spike, as demand around the world stays extremely high and supply would be cut. Several other Chilean copper mining companies are also in contract negotiations with union workers.

That speculation was enough for an immediate price spike.

On Tuesday, August 10, the price jumped from $4.28 a pound to $4.35 a pound, and then bounced up another 2 cents a pound to $4.37 on Wednesday, August 11.

Prices settled slightly on Thursday, August 12, dipping back to $4.36 a pound, before jumping back up in early trading on Friday, August 13 to nearly $4.29 a pound.

When you look at the week in its entirety, despite its somewhat bumpy ride, the price of copper is currently 2 cents higher a pound than it was one week ago.

The president of the National Mining Society in Chile, which is the group that represents the top mining companies in that country, says he expects the price of copper to remain high “for the next 2-3 years”. But he stopped short of calling this a “supercycle” like we experienced back in 2010. Diego Hernandez told newspapers the demand for clean energy will keep copper prices propped up for the short term.

A six-month comparison of copper prices shows a more than 50 cent increase in copper prices per pound compared to what we were paying back on February 12.

And when compared to one year ago, we are paying about $1.60 more per pound.



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