Copper all the rage at Swiss summit

If any confirmation was needed that metals are the new oil, it could be found at the FT Commodities Global Summit in Lausanne. At a meeting of traders, where energy and agricultural markets have historically taken centre stage, metals found themselves the centre of attention (reports MiningNews).

Copper 6

Unsurprisingly copper, the most widely traded and investable of the new energy metals, was the most widely discussed. Attendees heard some bullish predictions about the price trajectory of the red metal, which is expected to see significant long-term growth in demand.

"I expect we will experience zero stock of copper this year," co-head of Trafigura's metals and minerals division Kostas Bintas said.  

Bintas pointed out that current deficit forecasts for copper were bigger than stocks. And he noted that demand seems to be very sticky, and unlikely to reduce. 

Speaking on the same panel, Nick Popovic, co-head of zinc and copper at Glencore, also saw a widening deficit.

"You have a very fast proliferation of new copper smelters," Popovic said. "Yet at the same time you have longer and longer permitting periods when you mine copper.

"In a more booming economy that could be a much larger kickstart to the copper price." 

Jeff Currie, global head of commodities for Goldman Sachs, was willing to put a number on his bullish sentiment, pinning short term price prospects for the metal at US$10,500/t, with a longer-term forecast of an eye-watering $15,000/t.

And Guy Wolf, global head of market analytics at Marex, was similarly bullish.

"There's been no investment in new supply, and there's no real prospect of new supply," he added.

"The prices need to be $15,000 to trigger investment."


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