QUOTE AND NEWS
The Australian  6 hrs ago  Comment 
BHP Billiton has outlined new plans to turn the Olympic Dam mine in South Australia into the world’s second-biggest copper mine.
Mondo Visione  8 hrs ago  Comment 
Hong Kong Futures Exchange Limited (HKFE), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx), has announced the margin rates for the London Aluminium, London Copper and London Zinc mini futures that it will introduce on...
Reuters  Nov 24  Comment 
BHP Billiton is laying the groundwork for a dramatic rise in copper production in a drive to buffer its exposure to sagging iron ore, oil and coal markets.
MarketWatch  Nov 21  Comment 
Gold prices climbed on Friday, reacting to dovish comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and a surprise rate cut from China’s central bank. Copper and other industrial metals also advanced.




 


Copper is a metal used extensively as a heat and electrical conductor, as well as a component in metal alloys, most notably brass and bronze. Annual world production is projected to 18.4 million metric tons in 2008.[1]

Copper is used extensively for electrical wiring and plumbing in buildings. A good overview on the use of copper can be found on the webpage of the International Wrought Copper Council (IWCC).

Copper is known to have antimicrobial properties. It is also an important nutrient. It is widely believed that copper jewelry can help wearer conquer diseases.

The chart at left shows continuos front-month futures prices for High Grade Copper traded on the COMEX.

Prices and Delivery Dates

High Grade Copper futures contracts are traded on the COMEX under ticker symbol HG and are delivered every month of the year. (For more information on commodity tickers, check out the commodity ticker construction page.)

Copper Producers

The four largest copper producers are[2]

Key Trends and Forces

Global Economic Downturn

The usage of copper may be significantly reduced in the current downturn.

Emerging Economies

Improving living conditions and expansion of infrastructure require electrification of houses, manufacturing facilities, and offices. Further copper is required in electrical powerplants, transformation and transport of the energy and for the extension of public transport.

New Electrification Wave

Improved comfort functions and hybrid powertrains require increased amounts of copper to be build into vehicles. Plugin hybrids are going to increase the demand for electric power from the grid. The use of solar panels on buildings increases copper usage in the building sector.

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References

  1. International Copper Study Group - Forecast 2008/2009, October 2008
  2. Freeport McMoRan Presentation, November 2008
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