Investors are betting that copper’s vital role in the world’s shift to green energy will mean surging demand and even higher prices.
New Delhi: Copper soared this week to an all-time high, continuing a sizzling rally that’s seen prices double in the past year. The previous copper record was set in 2011, around the peak of the commodities supercycle sparked by China’s rise to economic heavyweight status — fueled by massive amounts of raw materials.
This time, investors are betting that copper’s vital role in the world’s shift to green energy will mean surging demand and even higher prices. Copper futures rose as high as $10,440 a ton in London on Friday.
The reddish brown metal is mostly unrivaled as an electrical and thermal conductor, while also being durable and easy to work with. Today, a vast array of uses in all corners of heavy industry, construction and manufacturing mean it’s a famously reliable indicator for trends in the global economy.
The copper market was one of the first to react as Covid emerged in Wuhan, with prices slumping by more than a quarter between January and March last year.
Then as China’s unprecedented steps to control the domestic spread of the virus started to yield results, copper rapidly rebounded — and it hasn’t looked back since.
But it’s not just China driving the rally. While the country accounts for half of the world’s copper consumption and has played an integral part in copper’s surge, demand there has actually softened this year. Yet prices continue to drive higher