After a precipitous dip in late 2008, copper prices have roller-coastered their way to a 200% increase, and in February, hit a record-setting $4.62 per pound. Why so much price movement and why now? Is it China? It’s well documented that China’s mounting demand and speculation about its rate of growth have complicated copper pricing world-wide. But wait… there’s more to it than that.
Any serious discussion about copper prices must include the effect of investors entering the market through Exchange Traded Funds or ETF’s, the mechanism behind the public trading of copper futures. An outgrowth of an uncertain economy that has driven investors to what appears to be inflation-hedged investments, ETF’s are funds traded on the market that are backed by commodities like copper or gold. Base metals-backed ETF’s have become more available and increasingly popular.
How do ETF’s affect the price of copper? They increase volatility. It’s all about price speculation in a commodity already in short supply. It’s what happened to gold, but in this case, even more pronounced, as copper is a metal of everyday necessity not occasional luxury. And unlike other commodities, fresh sources of supply are not readily available; new copper mills simply don’t open every day.
At Admiral, our position in copper and copper-based alloys, like brass, has remained consistent. Our objective is to meet the needs of our customers while providing fair, consistent and transparent pricing. Through proper planning, special purchasing programs and partnering, we can minimize some of the effects of this copper market volatility for our customers.
We understand what our customers need – fair, accurate and timely quoting, fast overnight delivery and the ability to help manage costs effectively. Call us today and rely on our 60 years of experience. At Admiral, we’re doing more than just talking about copper, we’re delivering.
Wishing you the very best in business,