Today’s News and Market Report

Worldwide copper prices are rising faster than ever due to increasing industrial demand and rapidly growing economies in developing countries. Its use dates back to the earliest civilizations and it was actually one of the first metals extracted from the earth by humans. Today it is widely used as a key component in construction, manufacturing, and telecommunications. The high thermal and electrical conductivity make it ideal for use in plumbing and electrical wiring.

Citizens of the United States are most familiar with the metal as a base for coins. In fact, pennies were made up almost entirely of copper until 1982 when it was replaced with a less expensive alloy. While many people may not know it, it also represents that base material for the Statue of Liberty! The well-known green color comes from the natural oxidation of the metal over time.

Naturally occurring deposits are found throughout the earth’s crust as a stand-alone element or in combination with other metals. While the total amount of the metal present on earth is estimated to be extensive, only a small percentage of it is currently available for extraction. Experts have estimated that the available mining reserves could be depleted in as little as 25 years. Worldwide demand for the metal is increasing at a rate of over 500,000 tons per year with China currently accounting for well over 20% of the total global demand. India and the United States account for a large percentage of global consumption as well.

Today’s prices are more than twice what they were just two years ago and many experts and analysts predict that they could go much higher. Metals and commodities have performed strongly in recent years as the developing economic recovery begins to take hold and economic expansion returns. Inventory levels are currently approaching their lowest levels in several years which is also a contributing factor behind the rapidly rising prices seen in recent history.

Many industry experts predict that new mining will be unable to keep pace with global demand resulting in rapid price appreciation in the near future. Traders have been eager to buy on any significant dips or pullbacks which has helped to lend support to the uptrend. As commodities in general appear to be setting up for a renewed move to the upside, any opportunity for investors to buy at an attractive level are forecast to be brief.

You can track the daily price movement and trends by following the charts and quotes provided on this website. Current news impacting the metal and trend direction will be featured at regular intervals so you can fully understand the forces and economic conditions impacting the market.

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Copper Consolidating After Advance

Copper futures have been range bound for most of the week around the $4.40 per pound level after making a strong move higher that began in the last week of June and lasted through the first week of July. Most traders view this as a healthy pattern and analysts expect that the metal may run into some resistance between $4.40 and the $4.50 level.

Several previous highs dating back to February exist in this area and would need to be overcome before an extended move to new highs could be expected. Warehouse stock levels are currently near 60 day lows so any pick up and demand or indicator of imminent economic expansion could serve as the trigger to push prices higher.

In addition to tightening supply data, a recently released report showing that the economy in China grew by 9.5% in the second quarter appeared to provide reassurance to futures traders that the concern over a possible slowdown may be over-stated. While the risk of further monetary tightening by the Chinese remains a concern for the market, growing demand from rebuilding projects in Japan following the Tsunami may help to offset any minimal slowdown from China in the short-term.

The metal was hovering near $4.37 today entering afternoon trading on the COMEX with the September contract being the most actively traded issue on the day.